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Release No: 652-03
September 03, 2003

DoD Approves use of Ceremonial Bugle

The Department of Defense announced today it has approved the use of the ceremonial bugle as an alternative to the recorded version of Taps played on stereo at military funerals.  The decision was made by the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Charles S. Abell based on positive survey results from a six-month test of the bugle. 

The ceremonial bugle consists of a small cone-shaped device inserted deep into the bell of a bugle that plays an exceptionally high-quality rendition of Taps that is virtually indistinguishable from a live bugler.  The department worked with private industry to invent the bugle. 

Missouri was selected to test the bugle because of its well-established state-run military funeral honors program.  The test was conducted from Nov. 2002 to May 2003.   Fifty prototype bugles were distributed to military units and other authorized providers of funeral honors, such as veterans’ service organizations.  During the test, family members and honor guard members were surveyed to gauge the dependability and acceptability of the ceremonial bugle.  The resulting data indicated that the system is reliable and endorsed by over 96 percent of the families surveyed. 

The ceremonial bugle will be offered to families as an alternative to the pre-recorded Taps played on a stereo, but will not be used as a substitute for a live bugler when one is available.  Live buglers will continue to play at veterans’ funerals whenever available.

The Department of Defense provides military funeral honors free of charge to thousands of veterans’ families each year.  The ceremonial bugle is intended to enhance the dignity of military funeral honors.  These honors demonstrate the nation’s deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have honorable served their country.  The ceremonial paying of respect is a final tribute to their service. 

For more information on the bugle, click on http://www.ceremonialbugle.com.

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