Commentary

October 12, 2012

Did you know?

Tags:
Chief Master Sgt. Brian Randolph
412th Test Wing command chief


As the new 412th Test Wing command chief I have been taking time to get to know and talk with you while visiting your units and attending base events. I hope I get a chance to talk with all of you.
During my visits I am asked several questions. Some of these questions I can answer on the spot, some take more research and thought, and still others deserve an answer for all to hear. These are the questions I want to address in this and future articles called “Did you know?”

“What are we supposed to do when Reveille or Retreat sounds?”

Answer: Flags on stationary flagstaffs are only saluted during Reveille, Retreat, or special ceremonies. In these cases, when outside and in uniform, consistent with safety and mission requirements, stop what you are doing, face the direction of the flag (if visible) or the music. When outside in uniform, if the flag is being lowered or raised, or “To the Colors” or the national anthem is played, face the flag (if visible) or face the music and stand at attention and salute on the first note of the music.

If there is no music, salute when you see the flag first being raised or lowered. Drop your salute after the last note is played, or when the flag has been fully raised or lowered, depending on the ceremony (during the playing of “Sound Retreat,” which precedes the lowering of the flag, stand at parade rest). Stand at parade rest during the sounding of Retreat, which precedes the lowering of the flag, then come to attention and render a salute on the first note of the national anthem or “To the Colors.” If you are driving a vehicle, stop if consistent with safety and mission requirements. You and your passengers should sit quietly until the music ends (AFI 1-1 paragraph 1.6.2.4). All sporting or physical training activities will stop during Reveille (if the flag is being raised) and Retreat with proper honors to the flag being showed (AFI 34-1201 paragraph 8.1.6.2).

The above answer, I believe, requires a bit more explanation so please bear with me as I explain further. Clearly the context of the above answer is written for active duty military. For those of us on active duty, we must follow these customs and courtesies and correct all other active duty members who don’t follow them. As leaders we do not have a choice.

Obviously then, the next question is this: How does our civilian and contractor populace show the proper respect during Reveille or Retreat?

Answer: In 1812, Reveille was a drum call, but as time passed it came to mark when the flag was raised in the morning and honors paid to it. Since it is no longer only a call for Soldiers to rise in the morning, it is proper for all military and civilian personnel to afford honors to the flag during these ceremonies. Civilians and military members in civilian clothes should place their right hand over their heart. Vehicles in motion should stop.

If in a vehicle during Reveille (if the flag is being raised) or Retreat, pull the car to the side of the road safely and stop. All occupants should sit quietly at attention until the last note of the music has played or the flag is fully raised or lowered. All sporting or physical training activities will stop during Reveille (if the flag is being raised) and Retreat with proper honors to the flag. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute when outdoors. This is true for hoisting, lowering or passing of the Unites States Flag and the national anthem. All others stand at attention and place your right hand over your heart. Civilians wearing hats should remove them and place it over their hearts during the national anthem. If your base flies the U.S. flag a continuous 24-hours with no music, or Reveille is played with no action with the flag, you are not required to stop and salute. Reveille is just a bugle call. Retreat is much the same. The playing of the national anthem or “To the Colors” is what requires proper honors to be displayed to the flag. (AFI 34-1201 paragraph 8.1.6.2)

Civilians, contractors, active duty, reserve, guard and military dependents are all “Airmen” and as such belong to a family – the Air Force Family. Being a member of any family comes with a measure of responsibility. I hope you all would agree some of that responsibility is showing the proper respect for our United States Flag and national anthem. While driving a vehicle on base, safely stop and sit quietly until the music ends. While walking outside on base in civilian clothing, stand and place your right hand over your heart. It’s the right thing to do.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Pursuing dreams to fly, fight and win

Have you ever been told you didn’t have what it takes while pursuing a goal? Did you believe it? I did. My final year in college, the Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment commander met with each senior to discuss our Air Force future. When asked what I hoped to do, like most of my peers...
 
 

Women’s history facts

As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, a few more facts about women’s history for your enrichment. To gain further understanding of the impact these women had in history, a link regarding the fact is provided. In 1918, Opha Mae Johnson became the first woman to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. At that...
 
 

Everyone has a story to tell

We tend to believe that just because we haven’t won a Nobel Prize, or survived a horrific event, that our stories are not worth telling.  This notion is false; your story is worth telling. We often get caught up on other peoples’ stories, whether it is that of a famous actress or a war hero. ...
 

 

Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community – When you are hurting, whom can you trust? Gen. Ulysses S. Grant said, “The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those...
 
 
Air Force photograph

Rosie the Riveter and me

Air Force photograph Staff Sgt. Alexandra M. Longfellow displays a tattoo of “Rosie the Riveter” to showcase how she became who she is today. The history of Rosie shows that with dedication and effort, anyone can do anythin...
 
 

Celebrating the work that social workers do

March is nationally recognized as Social Work Month. According to the National Association of Social Workers, since the first social work class was offered in the summer of 1898 at Columbia University, social workers have led the way developing private and charitable organizations to serve people in need. And now, social workers continue to address...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>