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

PROTOCOL FOR TAPS
INSTRUCTION FOR MILITARY AND CIVILIAN


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Protocol for Taps
Instruction for military and civilian

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THIS PROTOCOL BY CLICKING HERE

One question I get often is what to do when Taps is sounded. What exactly is the protocol? In a nutshell, it’s the same protocol as when you hear the national anthem.

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.

For more information on the origin of Taps CLICK HERE

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 there are several) is presented.

CONDUCT DURING THE SOUNDING OF TAPS

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;

– If you are inside and not in uniform it is proper to stand during Taps

– 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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51 Responses to “Protocol for Taps”

  1. woody nordan says:

    Recently at my father-in-law’s funeral service at a military cemetery …he was retired from the U.S. Coast Guard…as taps was being played, only the first 15 notes were played and then suddenly stopped, with no explanation as to why TAPS was not completely played! And they had to fold the flag twice! Any ideas as to why this is happening and our country is going to hell!

  2. Tapsbugler says:

    There is no protocol for standing while the flag is folded. At Arlington the family sits after Taps while the flag is folded

  3. Kevin M says:

    Is it appropriate to stand while military honors ( flag folding ) is taking place ?

  4. Tapsbugler says:

    Greetings

    A 21 Gun salute is reserved only for the President of the United States. If you are talking about about the three rifle volleys it is not a requirement to be provided by the military. The DoD is only required, by law, to provide two military personnel to fold and present the American flag to the next of kin and a bugler (live or recorded) for the sounding of Taps. The three rifle volleys can be provided if there are resources available from a veteran service organization (VSO). There is no regulation that states the three rifle volleys are only for retired. Some VSOs provide a firing party at any funeral they are able to perform. The military has varying regulations but for the most part will only provide the three rifle volleys (which incidentally can be done with as little as three rifles or as many as seven) for a retired military person. And even with that they will only provide if there are sufficient resources available. Hope that makes sense.

  5. Carole says:

    My husband who was military says 21 gun salute is really only supposed to be done for funeral of. retired military and not all these other folks. VFW says the same. What say you?

  6. Tapsbugler says:

    Thanks
    Anyone can do it. The question is about whether any local ordinances are being broken by how high the volume is.

  7. Joad Ballard says:

    Can anyone play TAPS amplified on a speaker system to honor fallen soldiers? This is being played off base every evening and can be heard all around the community which is Glen Rock, Pa. The person playing TAPS is an active duty Navy Officer.

  8. Tapsbugler says:

    Yes, it is appropriate.

    Thanks

    Jari

  9. Carol says:

    Is it appropriate to play taps at a funeral for a relative who served in the army but relatives opted to not have honor guard present?

  10. Tapsbugler says:

    I believe Taps is inappropriate for any flag burning.

    If you have to use a bugle call use one that HONORS the flag. To The Color

    Guidelines from the American Legion
    https://www.legion.org/flag/ceremony

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