When five o’clock retreat plays, many may think its time to go home for the day. While for some Fort Jackson personnel this is an accurate statement, what it signifies is the retirement of the post flag for the day. During this time, certain customs and courtesies should be followed.
It is customary during this time for those outside or in their vehicles, to stop. Soldiers in uniform should turn in the direction of the flag, or direction of music if the flag is not in view, render a salute. Off duty Soldiers, veterans, civilians or their Family members should turn in the direction of the flag or music and place their hands over their hearts.
Those in vehicles should safely stop their vehicle, exit, face the flag or music, and render a salute or place a hand on their heart if not in uniform.
Once the music completes after the firing of the cannon, personnel across the installation can return to their duties or enter their vehicles and continue their travels.
It is not unusual to see military police or gate guards stop traffic at the gates and intersections during this time as well. These guidelines are also observed during the morning reveille at 6 a.m.
While your day may be busy, as most military personnel are, remember that reveille is an opportunity to remember those who have gone before us and respect the flag and what it stands for.