by Megan Thompson
An upcoming Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) Military Retreat Ceremony will give the Samford community a chance to observe military customs. The ceremony will be led by the Cadet Corps and is scheduled for April 11 at 4 p.m. in Sherman Circle.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Tena Moore, the tradition of the retreat was first used by the French Army and dates back to the Crusades.
“Since the Revolutionary War, the American military forces have used this bugle call which always sounded at sunset,” Moore says. “Its original purpose was to notify guards to start challenging until sunrise, meaning to ‘halt’ and demand identification, and to tell the rank and file to go to their quarters and stay there. For us it signals the end of the duty day and is an opportunity for military members to pay respect to the flag.”
Performed once a semester on campus, retreat is upheld every day at military installations around the world, according to Moore.
This retreat differs from those past, because Lieutenant Colonel Travis Dixon assumed command of the detachment as of April 2. Lt. Col. Dixon has 21 years of active duty experience, many of which were spent in the education and training environment, and is a space and missile operator.
“Lieutenant Colonel Dixon is the Detachment 012 Commander and will be present at the ceremony along with Dr. Westmoreland,” Moore said.
Moore says everyone is invited to attend the ceremony. “This is probably one of the few times students and faculty will ever be exposed to this military tradition,” Moore says.
There is no fee to attend the ceremony. Attendees are asked, however, to adhere to traditional ceremony etiquette. According to Moore, “Civilian personnel should face the flag and place the right hand over the heart.”
For more information about AFROTC, please contact the detachment at 726-2859.