WEST POINT, NY (Oct. 14, 2016) - The U.S. Army and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point are steeped in tradition. One of the U.S. Army's oldest traditions is the firing of canon, the sounding of "Reveille" and the sounding of "Retreat" and "To the Colors."

West Point wakes up each day with the firing of a canon and the playing of Reveille.

The word Reveille is taken from the French word réveille which means "wake up." At West Point, reveille is sounded at different times according to the academic year of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Reveille sounds at 6:30 a.m. starting the first day of the academic year and then changes to 5:30 a.m. on the first day after graduation.

West Point ends each day with the playing of two songs, Retreat and To the Colors, and the firing of a canon.

Retreat is always sounded just before 5 p.m., the canon is then fired and immediately followed by To the Colors.

Courtesies for Reveille:

• Military personnel in uniform, not in a formation: at the sound of the first note of 'Reveille' stop, face the flag (or in the direction of the music if the flag cannot be seen) come to the position of Attention and Present Arms. When the music stops drop the hand salute and resume activities.

• Military personnel in uniform, in a formation or a group: at the sound of the first note of 'Reveille' the Soldier in charge of the formation or group will stop, align the formation with the flag (or in the direction of the music if the flag cannot be seen) and bring the formation or group to the position of Attention and Present Arms. When the music stops the Soldier in charge of the formation or group will command the formation or group to Order Arms and resume activities.

• All personnel in civilian clothes in a group or alone with headgear: at the sound of the first note of 'Reveille' stop, face the flag (or in the direction of the music if the flag cannot be seen) and come to the position of Attention and Present Arms. If wearing headgear; remove the headgear with the right hand when 'Reveille' is sounded and put the right hand over the heart. This will place the headgear in front of the left shoulder. When the music stops, drop the hand, place headgear back on the head and resume activities.

• All personnel in vehicles: Stop the vehicle as far as possible on the side of the road or in a safe area, exit the vehicle, face the flag (or in direction of the music) and render honors as described above.

Courtesies for Retreat and To the Colors:

• Military personnel in uniform, not in a formation will: When 'Retreat' is sounded, stop, face the flag (or in the direction of the music if the flag cannot be seen) and come to the position of Attention. When the canon fires, just before the first note of 'To the Colors,' come to the position of Present Arms. When the music stops drop the hand salute and resume activities.

• Military personnel in uniform, in a formation or a group will: when 'Retreat' is sounded, the Soldier in charge of the formation or group will stop, align the formation with the flag (or in the direction of the music if the flag cannot be seen) and bring the formation or group to the position of Parade Rest. When the canon fires, just before the first note of 'To the Colors,' the Soldier in charge will bring the formation or group to the position of Attention and Present Arms. When the music stops the Soldier in charge will command the formation or group to Order Arms and resume activities.

• All personnel in civilian clothes in a group or alone: When 'Retreat' is sounded, stop, face the flag (or in the direction of the music if the flag cannot be seen) and come to the position of Attention. When the canon fires, just before the first note of 'To the Colors,' come to the position of Present Arms. If wearing headgear, remove the headgear with the right hand when 'Retreat' is sounded. When the canon fires, just before the first note of 'To the Colors,' put the right hand over the heart. This will place the headgear in front of the left shoulder. When the music stops, drop the hand, place headgear back on the head and resume activities.

• All personnel in vehicles: Stop the vehicle as far as possible on the side of the road or in a safe area, exit the vehicle, face the flag (or in direction of the music) and render honors as described above.

Both ceremonies take place every day including weekends and holidays, rain or shine, and are performed by the West Point Military Police Detachment Honor Guard at the flag pole in the vicinity of the Battle Monument at Trophy Point.

Whether you are a Soldier, Cadet, Civilian employee, Family member, Retiree or Veteran, when any of these songs are played we ask that you render the proper courtesies to these ceremonies and our nation's colors.