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(Bugle) Blast From The Past

Subdeacon Joe

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Manual For BuglersU.S. Navy

Prepared by the Bureau of Naval Personnel

Navy Training Courses

Original edition 1919
Reprinted with minor corrections 1951
Reprinted with changes 1953


Chapter 6: The Calls

This chapter contains all of the bugle calls in use in the United States Navy. The calls have been classified only as ROUTINE, EMERGENCY, or ROUTINE AND EMERGENCY in order to clarify previous classifications. The calls have been placed in alphabetical order to facilitate location.

Image of Bugler with the words "emergency," "routine," and "emergency and routine" coming out of the bugle.

The musical signs and symbols used are those which have been explained in previous chapters, with the exception of the [pause sign]. This symbol is a rest or pause of indefinite duration which appears in calls used during marches or drills. Where the pause appears in a call, the preparatory command may be given at any appropriate time prior to the execution of the movement, but the command of execution is to be given when the body of troops has reached the point where execution of the movement is to be made. The command of execution is given on the right foot for movements to the right and on the left foot for movements to the left.

It would be wise for you to consult your Chief as to which of the calls are used most frequently on board your ship so that you can learn these calls first. Of course, this does not relieve you of the responsibility of learning the other calls, particularly the emergency calls, but it will permit you to “bear down” on those most useful to you. All of the calls must be played from memory exactly as they are written. This will necessitate considerable practice on each call in order to commit all the calls to memory with the correct tune and tempo. The practice should be done in an assigned space below decks to avoid the confusion which might result if, for example, Liberty Call were to be sounded at sea.

1. Abandon Ship.—Emergency—sounded as a signal to man boats and abandon ship.

Image of musical score for Abandon Ship.
Abandon Ship.

2. Adjutant's Call.—Routine—at shore stations sounded as a signal for companies to form battalion. Immediately after call, the adjutant posts the guides of the color company and this company marches in line.
Used on board ship in special ceremonies. (See Taps.)

Image of musical score for Adjutant's Call.
Adjutant's Call.

3. Admiral’s Barge.—Routine—sounded as a signal to call away the admiral’s barge. It may also be used to call away any barge. The particular barge desired is designated by C-note blasts.

Image of musical score for Admiral's Barge.
Admiral's Barge.

4. Aircraft Elevators.—Routine—sounded to call away aircraft elevators. If necessary, C-note blasts can be used to designate the particular elevator and elevator pump room to be manned. The call is identical to the Wherry call.

Image of musical score for Aircraft Elevators.
Aircraft Elevators.

5. Assembly.—Routine—sounded as a signal for assembly of details or companies at a designated place. This call is identical to division.

Image of musical score for Assembly.

6. As Skirmishers, March.—Routine—although this call is generally used in connection with maneuvering troops in the field, it is frequently used aboard ship as a call to deploy for physical drill.

Image of musical score for As skirmishers, march.
As skirmishers, march.

7. Attention.—Routine —sounded as a signal for all hands to stand at attention and maintain silence. When sounded for passing honors, it is a positive command for every man in sight from the outboard to stand at attention and face the passing vessel.

Image of musical score for Attention.

8. Attention to orders.—Routine—sounded as a signal that important information is to be passed. Demands silence but does not require the position of attention.

Image of musical score for Attention to orders.








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When I was in the Navy there were very few bugle calls being used and most of them were recorded and played over PA systems on base. At sea I do not recall any bugle calls used. 
I remember Morning Colors and I remember during marching drills there was a bugler sounding a horn as we marched but I have no idea what the calls were. All I knew was we were told:  

You will disregard the bugler unless you want to be party to the biggest marching cluster-f*** on God’s green Earth...and then you will be mashed soundly for disregarding orders. You will obey my commands ONLY!” - GMGC Milady, Company Commander. 

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40 minutes ago, Subdeacon Joe said:



Gunners Mate (Guns) Chief?

Yes. He liked to pick on me as my rating was to be GMM - Gunners Mate (Missile). The GMGs liked to call us “Limp-wristers” or “Pushbutton Gunners Mates” because we weren’t “true Gunners Mates”. Of course I never smarted off to him as I was a “boot” and he was in charge. The GMGs aboard my ship never turned down my help in the Armory or on their gun mounts. ;) We used to tease each other about our rating rivalry but it was all in fun. 

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I remember seeing/hearing "battle stations" from a movie.  A local grocery store played that for a short time when they wanted someone in the meat department to answer the phone! :rolleyes:

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