Army Adjutant’s Call: What It Is and How It Works

The United States Army has had a reliance on the bugle since Army creation. The bugle is used as a means of communicating to troops for various reasons. The music played by the bugle tells Army officers and soldiers what is expected of them.

Some think that this age of technology would have sent the bugle into extinction, but not so. The bugle is still used across Army bases far and wide. Technology has taken its part in this though. You may not see a soldier with a bugle sticking from his lips during these musical calls. Many bases use tape recorded bugle calls that are played over loud speakers, but you can still find those soldiers who can, and do play the bugle.

In today’s post, we are going to look at one of the many bugle calls the Army uses. This is about the Army Adjutant’s Call: what it is and how it works.

What It Is

First, let me explain that there are many who do not understand what, or who the Adjutant is in the Army. The Adjutant is normally a senior 1st Lieutenant or a junior Captain who works in conjunction with the S-1 unit to manage administration of units. For ceremonies and events, the Adjutant works with the Command Sergeant Major of the unit.

During many military ceremonies, the Adjutant has a responsibility of forming the brigade, battalion or guard.

As stated earlier, the bugle is used for many calls, and the Adjutant’s Call is no exception. Actually, not only is the bugle used, but drums and cymbals are also used in this presentation.

Simply put, it is the moment when the Adjutant forms the unit no matter how large or small.

How It Works

I must admit, I feel sorry for Adjutants who are facing the Adjutant’s Call. When I am finished, and you watch the video, you will understand why.

The ceremony could be a Change of Command, or a formal awards ceremony. In almost every case of such a ceremony, the Adjutant’s Call is used. What generally happens is:

  • Soldiers will be called to a formation.

  • Scrambling to get in their places, soldiers will stand at ease.

  • The bugle player will play the short bugle call of Attention.

  • Unit Commanders will face about and will command their units to attention. (Unit Commanders do this in sequence from right to left,)

  • The Commander will face about.

  • Once all units are at attention, the Adjutant will direct the Adjutant’s Call to be sounded.

  • The Adjutant now has the space of a matter of seconds to perform the Adjutant’s Walk to the front of the formation. This can actually be hilarious depending on the Adjutant. It is a matter of he or she trying to move in a dignified manner, but it must be fast. It is essentially a cross between a march, a fast walk and a run. It can be very difficult holding a dignified look and trying to perform this. Watch the following video.

Final Thoughts

For the Adjutant, tradition can suck in a way when they have to perform the Adjutant’s Walk, but for the rest of us, it can be fun and interesting to watch.

We would love to hear from any of you who have had to perform the Adjutant’s Walk. Tell us your system if you had one. We would also love to hear from any of you who have witnessed some good, or embarrassing Adjutant Walks.

If you didn’t know, now you do know what the Army Adjutant’s Call is. Please leave all comments and questions below. Thank you for visiting, and have a great day.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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