Tonight's Twilight Tattoo begins at 6 p.m.!
Thousands flocked to see Soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" perform during last year's "Twilight Tattoo" at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Whipple Field.

WASHINGTON - - The U.S. Army Military District of Washington's production of Twilight Tattoo begins tonight ONLY at 6 p.m. at Joint Base Myer - Henderson Hall's Whipple Field TONIGHT, 22 May! (This is one hour earlier than its normal start time of 7 p.m.)

Twilight Tattoo will be hosted tonight by General Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and will recognize five American Citizens for their outstanding service in support of the United States Army and award them with the Outstanding Civilian Service Award. The award is the third-highest public service honor the U.S. Army can bestow upon a civilian. Remarks will be provided during the ceremony by General Ray Odierno, 38th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.

Scheduled to be honored are: Mr. Gary Sinise, The Gary Sinise Foundation; Mr. Ryan Blanck, Center for the Intrepid; Ms. Kathleen Gagg, Got Your Back Network; Mr. Ken Fisher, The Fisher House Foundation; and Ms. Deborah Tymon of the NY Yankees.

The show is an hour-long military pageant featuring Soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own." Audiences will experience a glimpse into American history through performances by the U.S. Army Blues, vocalists from the U.S. Army Band Downrange, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and the U.S. Army Drill Team.

Free to the Public

This performance is free and open to the public, HOWEVER, tonight's performance is already at capcity. Due to budget constraints unfortunately there will be no bleachers for Twilight Tattoo this year. Grass seating is available and it is recommended guests bring a blanket or lawn chairs. For more information on group reservations, contact MDW Public Affairs at (202) 685-2888.


The history of Twilight Tattoo began more than 300 years ago as British troops were summoned from the warmth and hospitality of local pubs by a bugle and drum call to return to the barracks. The familiar tune told tavern owners "doe den tap toe," or "time to turn off the taps." The troops knew the call to mean "taps off," and minutes later they were back in their tents.

The modern-day call is known as "Tattoo" and during basic training the call signals the time to quiet down and hit the bunks. For the U.S. Army Military District of Washington (MDW), the call serves as a tribute dedicated to the vitality of our nation and to the sacrifices of those who forged America into the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is for our forefathers and fellow Americans that MDW proudly presents "Twilight Tattoo."

The MDW Twilight Tattoo can trace its own history back to the years before World War II. At that time, on the grounds of Fort Myer in Arlington, Va., the 3rd Cavalry Regiment held military shows during the winter months. The Military District of Washington revived the traditional show in 1961 to showcase the talents of its ceremonial units.

As Twilight Tattoo grew in popularity, the Army adapted the show, its location and the time of year it was performed to fit the growing needs of the American people. Settling on performances in Washington, D.C., throughout the summer months, has allowed for thousands of audience members to experience the ceremony and pageantry of the United States Army.

Page last updated Wed May 22nd, 2013 at 10:13