Vice chief hosts Soldier for Life special Twilight Tattoo
June 10, 2014
By J.D. Leipold
- U.S. Army Soldier for Life program
- STAND-TO!: Ready and Resilient: Soldier for Life Update
- More U.S. Army News
- Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Twilight Tattoo Schedule
- Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. John F. Campbell
- Gen. John F. Campbell on Facebook
- Gen. John F. Campbell on Twitter
- Old Guard Flickr Photostream
- Army News Service
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 10, 2014) -- Thousands of visitors, including children from more than two dozen schools across the country, joined with Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John F. Campbell, his wife and guests at a special Twilight Tattoo June 4, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., to mark the Soldier for Life program.
Prior to the event, the general and his wife Ann welcomed guests to a reception that included members of his West Point class of 1979, and the Soldier for Life team whom Campbell thanked for their support.
"Soldier for Life is making a difference," he said. "More than 60 organizations are represented tonight, which provide a critical link between military and civilian programs and will be self-sustaining initiatives for the long-term improvements of our Soldiers as they transition to a new life and new career.
"It's all about maintaining the trust of our Army family during and after (their) service, and that we value their service and are committed to their long-term success, which is ultimately key to sustaining the premier all-volunteer Army in the world," he continued.
The Twilight Tattoo on the parade grounds of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall thrilled the crowd with the high-energy precision and discipline of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and the orchestral sounds of "Pershing's Own," along with the rock vocals of "Downrange" and the "Herald Trumpets."
The history of Twilight Tattoo began more than 300 years ago as British troops were summoned from the local pubs by a bugle and drum call to return to the barracks until morning reveille. The familiar tune was a message to tavern owners "doc 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 hour-long historical pageant of the U.S. Army Military District Washington traces its roots to the years before World War II, when the 3rd Cavalry Regiment held military shows during the winter months. In 1961, the show was revived to showcase the talents of its ceremonial units, including the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps and the Army Drill Team.
The evening was capped by Soldiers dressed in period uniforms of the Revolutionary Army firing black-powder muskets, then charging through the cloud of gray smoke. Next marched in Soldiers representing the War of 1812, who were then followed by Civil War Soldiers from both the Union and Confederate Armies charging into one another.
Music, cannon, carbine and helicopter sounds took the audience through the rest of Army history from the Spanish-American War to World Wars I and II, then Korea, Vietnam, the first Gulf War and finally to the current conflict on terror.
Before all elements of the pageant gathered together to retire the colors and sing the Army Song, several Old Guard Soldiers introduced themselves in full body armor with weapons, each explaining where they were from and expressing the Army ethos.
Following the show, the audience gathered with Old Guard Soldiers to have their photos taken and to hear stories about life in today's nearly 239-year-old Army.
Twilight Tattoo is performed on Wednesday evenings beginning at 7 p.m. Pre-ceremony entertainment begins at 6:45 p.m. Performances from April 30 through June 25, are held at Summerall Field on the base. Performances from July 9 through Aug. 20, will be held at Whipple Field on the base. If the weather is inclement, the show goes on indoors at Conmy Hall.
The 2014 Twilight Tattoo season is subject to date and time changes. The Twilight schedule can be accessed online at: http://twilight.mdw.army.mil/schedule.