Respect: Have It, Pay It, Never Shy Away From It
(May 7, 2011)
|EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS - 5/4/2011) -- Why are
people huddled in buildings all across base just inside
their doorways, waiting for the "all clear?" Has there just
been an attack? Are we in an exercise, you ask? |
The "all clear" everyone is waiting for is the completion of
"Retreat," followed by our country's national anthem, "The
Star Spangled Banner".
After all, no one wants to get
caught on the way to their car before going home. It's too
hot or cold, it's raining or it's just inconvenient. They
have places to be.
I remember how patriotic everyone
was the days following September 11, 2001. I watched people
not just stop their cars, but actually get out and salute
during our national anthem. What has happened since then?
We are still at war, we are still losing Americans
in the war on terror, yet the patriotism that flowed so
vibrantly through everyone's veins nearly a decade ago has
sadly dissipated. Have we forgotten the cost of our freedom?
As of May 1, it stands at 581,428 and counting -- that's how
many United States servicemen and women have made the
ultimate sacrifice for our country in combat since the
Revolutionary War started in 1775.
comment is the old "I shouldn't have to stop my PT or work
for it" line. I wonder what a Vietnam-era chopper gunner,
whose life expectancy was about 20 seconds in a "hot"
landing zone, would say about people complaining because
they had to stop and salute for about a minute. Clearly
there are too many sacrifices that we have taken for
Some people argue that "Airmen these days
have no respect." But does the Airman just out of basic
training and technical school get to their first base and
suddenly brain-dump all the customs and courtesies that have
been a part of their life since joining the Air Force? No.
They follow the example set for them by their peers and
their leadership, and these days the example seems to be a
Now the question is: How do we fix this
growing problem? How can we get others to stop and pay
proper respect when they are supposed to? The answer is we
must all set the example and be knowledgeable of the proper
customs and courtesies. So let's talk about what exactly
"Reveille" and "Retreat" are and what they mean for the
military and civilian populace.
the beginning of the duty day and is played to honor the
U.S. flag as it is being raised. On Eglin, "Reveille" is
followed by "To the Colors." On the first note of
"Reveille," which usually plays at 7:30 a.m., all members in
uniform, including PT gear, must stop and assume the
position of parade rest.
Once "Reveille" is over,
members in uniform should come to attention and render a
salute and hold until the last note of "To the Colors" is
played. If in civilian clothes, service members must come to
parade rest for "Reveille," then come to attention for "To
the Colors." Civilians should stop moving and stand silently
until both songs have finished playing.
signals the end of the day's activities and is usually
followed by the national anthem to honor the U. S. flag as
it is being lowered. "Retreat" plays on Eglin at 5 p.m. On
the first note of "Retreat," members in uniform should
assume the position of parade rest. On the first note of the
national anthem, members should come to attention and salute
until the last note has played. Service members not in
uniform should come to attention for the national anthem and
place their right hand over the heart. If headgear is worn,
it should be removed during this time. For civilians, on the
first note of "Retreat" they should stop moving and prepare
for the national anthem. On the first note of the national
anthem, they should place their right hand over the heart
and remove headgear if wearing any.
usually played later in the evening and is the signal for
"lights out," or quite hours. "Taps" plays on Eglin at 10
p.m. The origins of "Taps" can be traced back to the Civil
War, and it is also played as the last part of military
funerals. If outdoors and in uniform, service members must
come to the position of attention and salute until the last
note has played. If not in uniform, service members and
civilians must follow the same protocol as for the national
If in a vehicle, the driver should stop the
vehicle, turn off the radio and sit in silence until the
last note of music has played for all of these ceremonies.
In closing, we must all never forget the sacrifices
that so many of our countrymen and women have made. It
doesn't matter if you are active duty or civilian, it is our
duty as Americans to pay our respects to those that have
served for the freedoms we enjoy today.
it is our responsibility to research, understand, and
champion our military customs and courtesies. So the next
time a bugle plays, instead of bolting for the car or
strolling into your building "pretending" not to hear it,
try this: Stand tall, proud, and thankful. Someone might see
By USAF MSgt. Troy Kiick|
Eglin Air Force Base Honor Guard
Air Force News
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