Picture of American flag.

Your Company Name

Contact Us FAQ Warranty Links

Order Products
shipping info
How it works
Funeral Honors
About Us


Performing “Taps” in a Military Funeral Honors Ceremony

Using the Ceremonial Bugle


Conditions:  Given a ceremonial bugle, you will perform “Taps” as part of a military funeral honors ceremony.  You have checked your instrument ahead of time and prepared yourself for the ceremony. 


Standards: The performance of “Taps” is a stationary function. 


Performance Steps:

1.  Prepare for the ceremony:

a.      Inspect your uniform.

b.      Check the batteries in the insert and replace if necessary.

c.      Firmly seat the bugle insert inside the bell of the bugle.  (Figure 1).

d.      Set the volume control based on distance from funeral site or for an inside ceremony.

e.      Test the bugle prior to the funeral service.

f.        Place the insert in the off position and prepare for the ceremony.

g.      Position the bugle horizontally between the left arm and body, with the bell pointed forward and the left hand gripping the front tubing of the bugle and assume the position of attention.  (Figure 2).

h.      Assume the parade rest position (Figure 3) while waiting for the veterans remains to arrive.  Simultaneous movement occurs:

1)     Left foot moves 10 inches to the left of the right foot.

2)     Right hand moves to the small of your back, centered on the belt.

3)     Fingers and thumb extended and joined with palm facing outward.



 2.  Perform the following actions:

a.     When the remains arrive at the burial location and are being moved from the hearse or caisson to the gravesite, come to the position of attention and render a hand salute.  (Figure 4).  After the casket is put in place, cut your salute and return to the position of parade rest.  (Figure 3).

b.     On cue, when it’s time for “Taps” to be played:

1)     Come to the position of attention.  (Figure 2).

2)     Ready instrument.  With your right hand, reach across and using your right index finger place the insert in the “on” position.  (Figure 5).







     This movement will require some practice if you are wearing gloves.

 3)     While your index finger is still inside the bell of the bugle, and the bugle is in the “on” position, continue on around and push the play button.  You now have five seconds to bring the bugle up to the play position.

 4)     With your left hand, bring the bugle up to your lips while simultaneously bringing your right hand up to grip the top and center of the bugle.  Release your left hand and bring it down to your side.  (Figure 6).

5)     Left arm hangs straight down without stiffness.

6)     Keep left thumb straight along seam of trouser leg.

7)     Left hand fingers are curled with tip of the thumb touching first joint of index finger and with the first joint of the fingers touching the trousers.

8)     “Taps” is played and lasts about one minute.

9)     While “Taps” is being played, breath normally as if actually playing the instrument.  This will provide the veterans family with a more realistic visual image of a live bugler.

10)        Upon completion of “Taps”, bring your left hand up and grip the front tubing of the bugle and return to the carry position.  (Figure 7). Release your right hand and bring it down to your side and remain in the position of attention until the ceremony is completed.  (Figure 2).  There is no need to place the bugle in the “off” position at this time.  After the funeral detail departs the area, you may place the insert in the “off” position and the service is complete.




                                                        Echo Taps - Silver Taps:    

Army Regulation 220-90, Army Bands dated December 2007, Paragraph 2-5h(1) states the following: "Echo Taps" or "Silver Taps," the practice of performing "Taps" with multiple buglers, is not authorized. "Echo Taps" is not a part of Army tradition and improperly uses bugler assets.

Army Regulation 600-25, Salutes, Honors, and Visits of Courtesy, dated September 2004, Glossary, Section 2 states the following: "Taps The traditional "lights out" musical composition played at military funerals and memorials. The official version of "Taps" is played by a single bugle. In accordance with AR 220–90, "Echo or Silver Taps," which is performed by 2 buglers, is not authorized."

Field Manual 12-50, U.S. Army Bands, dated October 1999, Appendix A, Official And Ceremonial Music, Appendix A, Section 1 – Ceremonial Music, Paragraph A-35 "A-35. Signals that unauthorized lights are to be extinguished. This is the last call of the day. The call is also sounded at the completion of a military funeral ceremony. Taps is to be performed by a single bugler only. Performance of "Silver Taps" or "Echo Taps" is not consistent with Army traditions, and is an improper use of bugler assets



Military Funeral Honors have always been provided whenever possible. However, the law now mandates the rendering of Military Funeral Honors for an eligible veteran if requested by the family. As provided by law, an honor guard detail for the burial of an eligible veteran shall consist of not less than two members of the Armed Forces. One member of the detail shall be a representative of the parent Service of the deceased veteran. The honor detail will, at a minimum, perform a ceremony that includes the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps. Taps will be played by a bugler, if available, or by electronic recording. Today, there are so few buglers available that the Military Services often cannot provide one. 



Copyright S & D Consulting Int. Ltd.