Twilight Tattoo - Centuries of History and Excellence!
A program from 1968 advertising a precursor of today's Twilight Tattoo when the show was called "Torchlight Tattoo." Today, thousands of visitors to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., watch Soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard)... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL (May 30, 2012) -- The U.S. Army Military District of Washington's production of Twilight Tattoo combines the precision and discipline of the Soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) with the orchestral sounds of The U.S. Army Band "Pershings Own" and has a history reaching back hundreds of years.

Twilight Tattoos 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 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. On the grounds of what was then 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 the nation's capital throughout the summer months, has allowed thousands of audience members to experience the ceremony and pageantry of the United States Army.

"Twilight Tattoo" is free and open to the public and scheduled to entertain thousands more every Wednesday night on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall till the end of August.

Check the U.S. Army Military District of Washington's Twilight Tattoo website for schedule details at

Related Links:

Twilight Tattoo Schedule

Thousands watch Soldiers perform Twilight Tattoo

Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington Human Interest News

3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) on Facebook

The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" on Facebook

Images of Twilight Tattoo this year

The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own"