ARLINGTON, Va. (Army News Service) -- Under Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy hosted this year's first outdoor Twilight Tattoo, May 18, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall near the nation's capital.

More than 3,000 students from all over the country were in the audience to witness the action-packed performance along with representatives of organizations that have Public-Private Partnerships with the Army. These groups included veteran's service organizations and firms that have agreements to hire veterans.

It also included groups such as the USO, TAPS, Justice for Vets, Hiring Our Heroes, the Brookings Institute, the GI Film Festival and the Teamsters union, along with an undersecretary of the Department of Labor. Representatives from a wide range of the nonprofit community, government and private sectors attended the Twilight Tattoo, an official said.

Before the ceremony, Murphy thanked all who attended, including Soldiers, families and "those who stand with us, these Public-Private Partnerships."

Every Soldier is a leader and a problem solver that can make a difference in organizations, he told the business and civic leaders.

"They're loyal to the companies that they go to," Murphy said about Soldiers transitioning out of the Army, adding that some are likely to become small business owners themselves.

When Soldiers leave the ranks, he said they leave with the "country stamped on their heart." He asked the business and civic leaders to help connect "Soldiers for Life" to their organizations.

Murphy, an Army veteran himself, said he enjoyed watching the performance with the packed audience.

"When you see thousands of kids inspired by these Soldiers, and some of the corporate leaders of America here, watching our nation's best, it's hard not to be inspired," Murphy said.

"My favorite part was first time when the cannons went off and I saw everyone jump," he added. "It cracked me up, because I was ready for it and everyone jumps a little bit."

Murphy is the undersecretary of the Army and was the acting secretary of the Army while Eric Fanning awaited confirmation. Fanning was officially sworn in as the secretary of the Army May 18 by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in a ceremony at the Pentagon.

Twilight Tattoo is performed by Soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own."

Twilight Tattoo is a show that provides a glimpse into American history through performances by the U.S. Army Blues, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Drill Team, and vocalists from the U.S. Army Band Downrange and U.S. Army Band Voices.