Taps Bugler: Jari Villanueva

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“ Welcome to Tapsbugler! Helping provide Taps for Veterans at military funerals is important to us! Please contact us on information about providing a live bugler to sound Taps at the ceremony for your loved one. Just click on Find A Bugler below. Please explore the website and I hope you come away with a little more knowledge about this great American treasure we have in those 24 notes. ”

Celebrate 150 Years of Taps

Protocol for Taps

Instruction for military and civilian

Definition of Taps

Taps is sounded at funerals, memorial services and wreath laying ceremonies. It is also the last call played at US military bases in the evening.
Performance consists of 24 notes sounded on a bugle or trumpet.  Taps is performed by a solo bugler without accompaniment or embellishment.  Although sometimes performed with an echo, Taps is really meant to be sounded by a single bugler.

At funerals, military honors follow a certain sequence dictated by tradition and protocol. Three rifle volleys are fired, followed by the sounding of Taps. The flag is then folded and presented to the Next-of-Kin.
Sometimes there is not a firing party available and Taps will be sounded upon the signal from the military or funeral home director.

The sequence at Arlington can be found here:
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Funeral-Information/Attending-a-Funeral/Sequence-of-Events-for-Military-Funeral-Honors

At memorial services or special events Taps is usually sounded toward the end of the program, usually before the benediction or dismissal. At wreath laying ceremonies, Taps is usually sounded after the wreath (or last one if several) is presented.

Conduct During Playing

During a rendition of Taps at a military funeral, memorial service or wreath laying ceremony,

– All present not in uniform should stand at attention with the right hand over the heart;

– Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart;

– Individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of Taps and maintain that position until the last note (note: if you are inside and uncovered, you stand at attention);

– Veterans and active-duty service-members not in uniform may render the hand salute;

When Taps is sounded in the evening as the final call of the day at military bases, salutes are not required.

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7 Responses to “Protocol for Taps”

  1. Tina Ketterer says:

    I was recently at a graveside service for someone who was not current or former military. Taps was played at the close of the service by a member of a military branch, which branch I do not know. One Army veteran in attendance was offended that taps was played. Was protocol breached in this instance? Did the vet have reason to be offended?

  2. Christopher Snider says:

    Also, one thing to add to your list of honors rendered during “Taps” at a funeral or other gathering: Scouts, when in uniform, should give the proper salute to their program (Boy Scout/Cub Scout/Venturing/Sea Scout). Scouts not in uniform act as civilians with right-hand-over-heart during the playing of “Taps.” (Most camps also use “Taps” as the lights-out call, and no salutes are required them.)

  3. Tapsbugler says:

    You are correct. The LTC was wrong. You may refer them to me.
    Three Volleys, Taps, Flag Fold, and Presentation is the correct order for funeral honors

  4. Jazmine says:

    Would you please provide the regulatory guidance on the order of when Taps is played? I talked to our bugler from our post band who stated he plays it after the command “PRESENT ARMS” after the Firing of the Volleys take place (during a memorial service). We had a LTC pull us to the side to state that we were incorrect in allowing Taps to play after the Firing of the Volleys and that it was in fact reversed. I’ve researched ADP 600-25 and in 6-6 (c) it vaguely talks about Funerals for General Officers but the order in which Taps will play is [the
    chaplain will then pronounce the final benediction. At its completion, a 7–person firing party will fire 3 volleys, to be followed by “Taps.” ] Please provide guidance.

  5. Paul Thurman says:

    According to AR 220-90, PG23, Echo or Silver Taps, performed by 2 buglers, is not authorized. please pass this on to all concerns individual

  6. Michael Garza says:

    My VFW is having a POW MIA ceremony next month. Is it appropriate to play TAPS at this ceremony since we don’t know the outcome of the MIAs?
    Thank you.

  7. max metz says:

    If you are at a meeting and you hear them playing taps for a veterans who has passed in the room next to you can you just sit quietly and show respect in that manner?

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