On Friday, October 8, 2010 a funeral took place in Coldspring, Texas for Army Sgt. Calvin Harrison. A well decorated soldier who was one of the few who make the cut for Special Forces. His team members called him , “One of our best soldiers, one of the best NCO’s, never quit attitude.”
During the funeral a lone soldier sent to play taps did his best for the equipment he was given. The equipment was a non-working electronic bugle. The company tells you to test the unit before you play it. Many wonder how appropriate it would be to test playing taps at a service. Just after the 21-gun salute the young man would raise the bugle to his lips but nothing happened. He then took it down and looked into it. As he did this it started to play. This happened three times when they finally decided to continue with the service.
On the website www.ceremonialbugle.com there are three messages to customers. The first one states that at the end of 2008 the company will no longer be able to repair 2003 and 2004 inserts as parts will no longer be available.
But then it continues that a USB insert is being updated.to parts being used in a ceremonial bugle and has caused them to do a redesign.
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.
The directions for use are followed on another page.
CLICK ON ARROW TO VIEW VIDEO OF NON WORKING 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.
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.