Paying respect to the flag

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Melanie Bulow-Gonterman
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
At 1700 hours every day retreat echoes  throughout MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., and service members around the base snap to attention and render a salute for the 122-second time honored tradition.

In accordance with MacDill AFB Instruction 36-2203, every second Wednesday a different group leads a retreat ceremony at MacDill's Memorial Park. This instruction applies to all 6th Air Mobility Wing subordinate units and staff agencies.

The retreat ceremony serves a two-fold purpose which is, signaling the end of the official duty day, as well as, to pay respect to the United States flag and the sacrifices it symbolizes.

The monthly retreat ceremony encompasses esprit de corps-- fostering teamwork and pride in the 6th AMW and to publicly display our respect for the flag of the United States of America.

The ceremony encompasses decades of Air Force history and American pride.
Retreat was first used by the French Army and dates back to the Crusades. Since the Revolutionary War, the American Army has used this bugle call that always sounded at sunset. Its original purpose was to notify guards to start challenging until sunrise (meaning to "halt" and demand identification) and to tell the troops to go to their quarters and stay there.

The next retreat ceremony will be led by the 6th Medical Group.