What you need to know about Reveille and Retreat at Homestead ARB|
Posted 8/5/2012 Updated 9/7/2012
by Colonel Donald R. Lindberg
Commander, 482nd Fighter Wing
8/5/2012 - HOMESTEAD AIR RESERVE BASE, Fla -- Anyone who has spent time on a military installation knows that if its morning or late afternoon and trumpets blast through the speakers, traffic stops and salutes are smartly snapped in the direction of the flag. That can never be wrong can it?
Appropriate military customs and courtesies are expected by all members of Homestead Air Reserve Base. I want to make sure everyone understands what they need to do and the differences between procedures here and at other locations.
Because Homestead ARB's flags are flown 24/7, there is no requirement to play "To the Colors," which eliminates the need to stop or salute during Reveille which is played every day at 7 A.M. Some may find it hard to break the ingrained response to stop or salute at the first note of any music, but the guidance comes straight from AFI 34-1201 184.108.40.206.
"If your base flies the U.S. flag a continuous 24-hours and no music but Reveille is played with no action with the flag you are not required to stop and salute, Reveille is just a bugle call," states the instruction.
Old habits are hard to break.
What about retreat? At 4:30 p.m. every day, and 3:30 P.M. during Unit Training Assembly weekends, the national anthem is played at Homestead ARB. Since the national anthem is played, everyone still needs to pay the proper respect to the flag.
According to AFI 34-1201 220.127.116.11 "Retreat is much the same as Reveille, Retreat is just a bugle call but even if the flag is not being lowered it is the playing of the national anthem or 'To the Colors' that requires proper honors to be displayed to the flag."
Even as a civilian or in civilian clothes during Retreat, you should stop and face the flag or the music if walking and stop your vehicle safely if you are still in your vehicle.
Everyone who regularly works at Homestead ARB should already know the basics. Anyone sponsoring guests, including contractors, should inform them of these requirements.
What do I do when Retreat is played?
Whether in uniform or not in uniform: At the first sounds of Retreat, stop where you are and turn to face the flag, or in a case where the flag is not visible, turn in the general direction of the flag or the sound and, if in uniform, stand at parade rest. If not in uniform, protocol still dictates that you stop and face the flag or the music out of respect.
When do I come to attention and salute the flag?
In uniform: When the Retreat music concludes, come to attention and render a salute when you hear the first note of the national anthem.
Not in uniform: Do not salute if you are not in uniform. Come to attention and place your right hand over your heart. Remove your hat with the right hand and hold it at the left shoulder while your right hand is over the heart.
Exception: Service members and veterans not in uniform may render a salute during the hoisting, lowering or passing of the flag; this was changed by the 2008 Defense Authorization Act; Congress realized they omitted the national anthem and have added an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2009 (S. 3002, section 1081) to amend title 36, USC, to allow veterans and service members not in uniform to salute during the national anthem if they so desire.
How long do I hold my salute?
Remain at attention saluting the flag until the national anthem has finished playing.
What if I'm wearing my physical training uniform (shirt tucked in, of course)?
Proper military customs and courtesies apply while wearing the PTU during Retreat (attention and saluting)
What do I do if I'm driving at the time of Retreat?
At the first note of Retreat and the national anthem, you should bring your moving vehicle safely to a complete stop as you would if an emergency vehicle were approaching and put the car in park. Everyone inside the vehicle, including the driver, should remain seated at attention.
At 10 p.m. every evening, taps is sounded to end the duty day; continue business as usual.
Some Airmen have arrived at Homestead ARB from other installations with procedures which lower and raise our nation's flag each day or play foreign national anthems. Understandably, old habits are hard to break.
If you encounter an issue or question concerning customs and courtesies or any other subject you are unsure of, please utilize your chain of command - a time-tested mode of operation utilized by the most distinguished of service members past and present.
One can also reference Air Force Instruction 34-1201, paragraph 18.104.22.168 or query myself via the Homestead ARB Suggestion tab on the public web site and I'll be happy to respond.
Until then, press!