It’s time to get up! It’s time to get up! It’s time to get up in the morning!

I hate the word reveille. In our vernacular it means to get up and out of bed. Particularly I hate the word reveille said three times in a row, as in: reveille, reveille, reveille! Most of the time it is announced like that by a vengeful Marine who has lost sleep because he was on the duty roster. He pays everyone back by obnoxiously bellowing this word over and over again.

Here is how you normally hear it announced by some spring butt morning person who has taken it as his personal responsibility to inflict this unbearably banal word on his fellow Marines:

“Reveille, reveille, reveille gents! Reveille, reveille!”

The enthusiasm this particular clown infuses the announcement with is enough to make me want to punch his liver out and kick it around on the deck. Want to know what I have found gets more of a positive response than giddily screaming “reveille” like high school cheerleader?

“It’s 05:30… Get up!” Amazing.

As a young Marine I was assigned fire watch one night for some imagined infraction (I was guilty). My company was out in the field and the next day we were to conduct a number of fire and maneuver ranges. America’s Lance Corporal was instructed to come find his Staff Sergeant at 0300 and report for fire watch.

I was particularly ticked off at the perceived in justice of it all and at 0300 I approached every tent containing a Staff NCO and woke up everyone inside “looking” for my SSgt. After finally finding him in the last tent I looked in (imagine that) I was instructed to man my post and sound reveille for the company at 0530.

Promptly at 0530 that morning I filled my lungs and roared: “It’s 05:30 Charlie Company! Time for Uncle Chesty’s Fun Hour! Where you too can be a winner!”

I was never assigned to sound reveille again.

Semper Fi!

America’s 1stSgt

/ / / /


  1. My father, bless his heart, still sings reveille whenever my sister or I go visit his house. I still maintain the disdain for the whole “reveille” concept that I learned as a child but since this is my dad I guess I just have to take it

  2. I could have done with a bugle to get my youngest out of bed when he was still living here. I don’t have any trouble at all getting up in the morning I’m usually up for 5.45, but only because I have to go to work I might add. 🙂

  3. if I heard that I guess I’d wake up too…I’m not a morning person. My other half on the other hand will jolt out of bed wide awake and be ready to go anywhere within 5 minutes – BEFORE he even has that first cup of coffee. that must be the military training because it doesn’t seem like something a normal person would ever do…

  4. I can’t get ’em up,
    I can’t get ’em up,
    I can’t get ’em up this morning;
    I can’t get ’em up,
    I can’t get ’em up,
    I can’t get ’em up at all!
    The corporal’s worse than the privates,
    The sergeant’s worse than the corporals,
    Lieutenant’s worse than the sergeants,
    And the captain’s worst of all!

    (Repeat six times – while ducking boots and canteens and gunshots)

  5. My first morning home from P.I. my dad thought it would be fun to run into my room screaming reveille while banging a GI can around.It was also Christmas morning.Who said marines don’t have a sense of humor?Although somewhat twisted.

  6. Songbird, I was greeted with morning laughter coming from all the tents. Even my SNCOs thought it was funny.

    Wrexie, I’m not sure his cell phone is quite loud enough for the full effect.

    Red, my dad used to wake me up to the classic Irving Berlin song Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning!
    Someday I’m going to murder the bugler
    Someday they’re going to find him dead
    I’ll amputate his reveille and stomp upon it heavily
    And spend the rest of my life in bed!

    Akelamalu, an air horn or an empty garbage can repeatedly smashed with a stick would have gotten the job done just fine.

    Becky, all of that is done against his will trust me. I can be shaved and moving inside of 10 minutes upon waking. Not because I want to but out of neccessity. Besides, if you haul ass when you get up you can sleep in longer.

    Coffee, you were that guy weren’t you.

    Travis, I try.

  7. damage08, someone would have gotten a knuckle sandwich for Christmas in my house. Although, from the point of view of the prankster, that has the potential to be pretty hilarious.

  8. Top,
    I just hate getting up in the morning. My first several years as a cop I worked nights and graveyard shifts…more bad guys.
    When I finally went to “day shift” it took me….uhhh…lets see….uhhh…after 15 years I still hate it.
    When I have to play Army, I use the line from Full Metal Jacket..
    (Ladies, please turn away and don’t see this…I don’t want to offend anyone,,,have you turned away?)

    I kick an empty trash can and yell as loud as I can:
    “Drop your –cks and grap your socks…and get your asses up!”

    It works. And for the former Scout Sniper dude we have with us, I walk over and tickel his chin with a feather and tell him he has to go take out a Hajji mortar.
    He jumps right up then.

  9. Southern, I think the originality of my reveille call saved me from any repercussion.

    CI Roller, yes the whole getting up in the morning thing is deninately not a natural act. Your story reminds me of something my Marine related to me about their Haditha deployment. Seems the bad guys attacked their FOB in the middle of the night. An entire company of enraged Marines engaged and pursued their enemies for hours until dawn broke. Insurgents never attacked again during the wee hours.

  10. Top,
    At Camp Gannon, the Marines had a great “return policy” when they got hit with mortars. Counter battery radar lock…return 10 rounds HE quick..wait 5, send 10 more rounds HE quick…wait 10, then send a few more rounds…this would catch the insurgentassholes coming back to collect their mortar.
    The locals got tired of it…so when the insurgentassholes started to set up, the local citzens would shoot them to avoid the collateral damage.

  11. CI Roller, counter battery is a great thing. Last time I was in Kharma we had an arty battery backing us up. Insurgents were able to get three quick mortar rounds off and had to run like all get out before it went really bad for them. It eventually went bad for them anyway.

  12. Ag yes…you reminded me….the sound of someone screaming reveille at 0 dark thirty produces waves of spontaneous hatred indeed….along with evil visions of what should be done about it.

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