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PHOTO CAPTION:  The U.S. Army Military District of Washington's Twilight Tattoo season opener, May 1, features His Majesty the King's Guard of Norway for a special joint performance. His Majesty the Kings Guard, 3rd Company, is the Norwegian Defense Force's finest display unit.  Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of His Majesty the Kings Guard of Norway

April 16, 2013
By Mr. George Markfelder (JFHQNCRMDW)

WASHINGTON - - The U.S. Army Military District of Washington's 2013 production of 'Twilight Tattoo' begins 1 May! The show is an hour-long military pageant featuring Soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own." Audiences will experience a glimpse into American history through performances by the U.S. Army Blues, vocalists from the U.S. Army Band Downrange, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and the U.S. Army Drill Team.

The season opener features His Majesty the King's Guard of Norway for a special joint performance. Performance will start at 6:40 p.m. His Majesty the Kings Guard, 3rd Company is the Norwegian Defense Force's finest display unit. This parade unit is organized as an ordinary infantry company divided into three separate platoon units, the Military Band (60 men/women), the Ceremonial Band (30 men/women) and the Drill Team (40 men).

Free to the Public

This performance is free and open to the public. Due to budget constraints unfortunately there will be no bleachers for Twilight Tattoo this year. Grass seating is available and it is recommended guests bring a blanket or lawn chairs. For more information on group reservations, contact MDW Public Affairs at (202) 685-2888.

Twilight Tattoo 2013 Schedule

Twilight Tattoo performances begin at 7 PM. Pre-ceremony pageantry begins at 6:40 PM. Performances from May 1 through June 26 will be located at Summerall Field on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (JBM-HH) in Arlington, Va. Performances from July 10 through Aug. 28 will be located at Whipple Field on JBM-HH. Field locations may vary, please check the web site prior to attending a specific date.

****Tentative schedule for planning purposes only. Dates are subject to change. ****

Wednesday -- May 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
Wednesday -- June 5, 12, 19 & 26
Wednesday -- July 10, 17, 24 & 31
Wednesday -- Aug. 7, 14, 21 & 28


The history of Twilight Tattoo began more than 300 years ago as British troops were summoned from the warmth and hospitality of local pubs by a bugle and drum call to return to the barracks. The familiar tune told tavern owners "doe den tap toe," or "time to turn off the taps." The troops knew the call to mean "taps off," and minutes later they were back in their tents.

The modern-day call is known as "Tattoo" and during basic training the call signals the time to quiet down and hit the bunks. For the U.S. Army Military District of Washington (MDW), the call serves as a tribute dedicated to the vitality of our nation and to the sacrifices of those who forged America into the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is for our forefathers and fellow Americans that MDW proudly presents "Twilight Tattoo."

The MDW Twilight Tattoo can trace its own history back to the years before World War II. At that time, on the grounds of Fort Myer in Arlington, Va., the 3rd Cavalry Regiment held military shows during the winter months. The Military District of Washington revived the traditional show in 1961 to showcase the talents of its ceremonial units.

As Twilight Tattoo grew in popularity, the Army adapted the show, its location and the time of year it was performed to fit the growing needs of the American people. Settling on performances in Washington, D.C., throughout the summer months, has allowed for thousands of audience members to experience the ceremony and pageantry of the United States Army.