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'It's my Base' campaign addresses pride in Luke

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The 56th Fighter Wing commander, Brig. Gen. Tom Jones, launched an "It's My Base" campaign last week; the major tenets of the campaign address the pride in the appearance of Luke and professionalism of base members. As part of military professionalism, proper respect during reveille, retreat and taps must be rendered. 

The military tradition of taps, reveille and retreat, dates back to the Civil War. Reveille is the raising of the flag and signifies the start of the duty day. Retreat is the lowering of the flag and represents the end of the duty day. Taps traditionally signifies the extinguishing of lights and the call to challenge the night guard. 

Honoring these traditions gives base members the time to reflect upon the sacrifices borne of the veterans who fought before us and the veterans currently fighting in deployed locations, protecting our American ideals and way of life, according to Col. Ronald Mozzillo, 56th Mission Support Group commander.

So, why would a base member dodge paying proper respect during taps, reveille and retreat? Perhaps, to avoid standing in the heat or due to uncertainty about the proper customs and courtesies. Regardless, there is never a good reason to avoid paying tribute tothe American Flag. 

As a means to rekindle military pride and professionalism, the Luke Giant Voice system is broadcasting reveille at 7 a.m.; retreat with the National Anthem at 5 p.m. and taps at 10 p.m. The song "To The Colors" will begin broadcasting with reveille Aug. 27. 


Military uniform
When outdoors and in uniform during reveille and retreat, stand at parade rest during the reveille and retreat bugle calls. Come to attention and render a military salute on the first note of "To The Colors" (reveille) or the National Anthem (retreat) and hold the salute until the last note of the music is played. 

Civilian clothes
For civilians and when outdoors, stand at attention and face the flag or the direction of the music. If wearing a cap, remove it. Place the right hand over the heart and hold the position until the last note of music is played. Veterans and active-duty in civilian clothes may render full courtesies as indicated above in the uniform section. 

In a vehicle
When in a vehicle during reveille and retreat, stop the vehicle at the first sound of the music, pull to the right side of the road and stop. Vehicle stereos should be silenced. All car occupants should sit quietly until the last note of the music is played. Members may exit vehicles and render full courtesies as indicated above in the uniform and civilian clothes sections. 

At day's end, taps plays at 10 p.m. During this time, people should remain quiet and respectful until the last bugle note is played. There are no formal protocol procedures required; therefore, it is not necessary to stand at attention and drivers should continue driving. 

Reveille, retreat and taps customs and courtesies are a part of the "It's My Base" campaign. "It's an attitude and approach to professional pride and base appearance that I hope will influence the actions base members take as part of their daily routine," General Jones said.