WASHINGTON - - The U.S. Army Military District of Washington (MDW) will kick off its 2019 production of Twilight Tattoo with a special show hosted by Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General Mark A. Milley on April 25 at 7 p.m., in Conmy Hall on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (JBM-HH) in Arlington, Va.
Twilight Tattoo is free and open to the public. It 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, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and the U.S. Army Drill Team.
There will be performances every Wednesday until July 31, with exception to July 3 and July 10. There will be no Twilight Tattoo scheduled for July 3 and 10. Attendance at Twilight Tattoo has grown in recent years, and so MDW will add Thursday performances from May 9 through June 13. This means that for six weeks there will be a Twilight Tattoo on both Wednesday and Thursday.
All performances will be held on Summerall Field at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (JBM-HH) in Arlington, Virginia. In the event of inclement weather (rain, extreme heat, etc.) performances will be moved indoors to Conmy Hall. Twilight Tattoo performances begin at 7 p.m. Pre-ceremony pageantry begins at 6:40 p.m.
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. MDW 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.