Volume Turned Down at Ft. Myer

by ARLnow.com December 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm 4,807 23 Comments

It will now be a lot harder to hear “Reveille” and “Tattoo” being played outside of Ft. Myer.

For the past two or three weeks, bugle music from the base could be heard clearly from more than a mile away, thanks to a new public address system. According to the following press release from the base’s public affairs office, the PA system has been fixed.

Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall recently upgraded its early warning and emergency mass notification sound system to a new “giant voice” sound system. The same sound system is also used to sound the military tradition of daily bugle calls, which include Reveille at 6:30 a.m., Retreat at 5:00 p.m., Tattoo at 10:00 p.m., and Taps at 11:00 p.m. While working to adjust the sound levels, it was discovered that the volume had inadvertently been left on the highest level, which had prompted many complaints from neighboring communities primarily to the north of the installation.

The volume has now been lowered to a more acceptable level and will only be raised in emergency situations. Continued adjustments to the sound system will be made to ensure the installation’s emergency notification requirements are met without disrupting neighbors.

The installation’s Command has expressed its appreciation to all neighbors for their patience as the installation worked through the adjustments of the new system and respectfully regrets any inconvenience.

  • Courthound

    It only took 3 weeks to figure this out? Was this after someone commissioned a study? I was getting weary of being blasted out of bed at 6:30 every morning.

    • Eponymous Coward

      While I happened to like it, I’m probably far enough way that it wasn’t that loud. But I too want to know why it took 3 weeks to fix this. So, three weeks after an emergency, they’ll max out the volume? Great.

      • Courthound

        Yeah, we are directly across Route 50 from them, obstructed only by trees.

        Don’t gete wrong — my wife and I enjoy hearing Tattoo and Taps at night (at a reasonable volume).

        That first day – the Friday after Thanksgiving (I think?) – they blasted us out of the bed at 6:30. It was so loud we were afraid it was an emergency notification.

  • AllenB

    That’s too bad… I kinda liked it.

  • I’m glad to hear they lowered this. If I could hear it on Lynn St in Pentagon City then I could only imagine how loud it was over near Columbia Pike.

  • Bill

    That’s where it was coming from! I guess I’m a heavy sleeper but I always thought I was dreaming when I heard this. Google Maps says I live 2.1 miles away (among tall buildings, no less). So yeah, I think it was loud enough.

  • Sunny617

    I liked it. But then again, I could only hear it from time to time when the wind was right and I happened to be on my balcony.

  • Sal

    I hadn’t noticed anything different. I actually like it. I hope its not totally silent in my neighborhood. It gives it character.

  • Chad

    I live about 100 yards from Ft Myer and could hear it every time something was played. I personally enjoyed it and it never affected my sleeping. Although, I can see where people are coming from who are potentially closer than I.

    • Andrew

      My apartment is also about 100 yards from Fort Myer, and the daily bugle calls were a pleasant surprised when I moved in this summer (before the volume increase). Now that it’s winter and the doors and windows are always closed, I hope I won’t have to wait until spring to hear the daily calls again!

  • lala

    I liked it too.


    Wow… I think if all Americans knew what the two really stood for, maybe they would not be bothered with it. I for one LOVE “Reveille” and “Tattoo”, AKA “TAPS”… and what they stand for!

    • mehoo

      Right, we should be happy to be blasted out of bed in the morning…because of what it stands for.

      • USAFHG

        And you probaly don’t even live near it. So what are you talking about… I live outside the gate and its not that LOUD.

  • TGEoA

    Tattoo? The midget?

  • Courthouse

    I prefer sleep to “neighborhood character” blasting at ungodly hours.

    • KalashniKEV

      “Ungodly hours???”

      Everyone should be awake by 0630 and getting ready for bed by 2300.

  • ian

    I loved this I thought this was one of the unique things about living in Arlington…really too bad

  • Rich

    The Taps at 11PM was my biggest complaint coming from someone that needs to wake up early the next day. It was so loud you just had to wait to go to bed after it was over.

  • S. Arl

    I loved it and I live closeby.

  • mehoo


  • Greg

    I’ve noticed it’s quieter. I live in Penrose, a couple blocks off post, and love hearing it. I’d be happy if they turned it back up a bit.

  • RHD

    I loved it and I miss hearing it.


Subscribe to our mailing list