First call

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This article is about the bugle call. For the Christian music group, see First Call.
First call played on the bugle by a member of the United States Army Band

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"First Call" is a bugle call with three distinct meanings.

At a U.S. military installation it is a pre-reveille "courtesy" signal, sounded around 05:50, originally to assemble the trumpeteers to deliver the reveille that would be forthcoming at 06:00. Some locations also sound it a few minutes before retreat (lowering the flag at the end of the day).

In other military contexts it may be used (e.g. 5 minutes) prior to sounding Assembly for any particular formation. Individuals who have not fallen in by the last note of Assembly may be considered late or AWOL.

On ships of the US Navy, First Call is sounded at 0755, 5 minutes ahead of Morning Colors (raising the national ensign), and 5 minutes before Evening Colors (lowering the national ensign). In the absence of a bugle, the word is passed, "First call, first call to colors." The same ceremony takes place on shore establishments but not on ships underway.



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Bugle Calls First Call.svg


At a horse race, it is a signal that all mounts should be at the paddock exit in order to proceed to the track to begin the post parade. The tune is usually sounded by a bugler five to 10 minutes before the scheduled start time of the race. The call serves a similar purpose in dog racing. Most race track buglers do not perform First Call as written in 3/8 time, but employ a much simpler version in 3/4 time that sounds quite similar to First Call.[citation needed] This simpler bugle call is what is usually referred to as "The Call To Post".


Call To Post.jpg

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