On guns and military funerals

Rifle volleys fired during Reyes' funeral. Photo by GMA 7

I have read several articles Philstar, ABS-CBN, Inquirer, …  that says Former AFP Chief Angelo T. Reyes funeral was given 19 or 21 gun salute- this is a wrong term.

Based on research, a “21 gun salute”  is a number of rounds fired using a canon.  It  is fired in honor of the day of the funeral only for Heads of State. The cannons fire blank charges 21 times, thus it is called 21- Gun Salute.


Gun Salute is just a term, ironically, they use canons with blank charges to fire 21 times..

In military funerals, one often sees three volleys of shots fired in honor of the deceased veteran. This is often mistaken by the laymen as a 21-gun salute, although it is entirely different. It is called a Volley-Salute.

A Volley Salute is a ceremonial act performed at military or police funerals.  It consists of a rifle party firing blank cartridges into the air.

Ruffles and Flourishes are used to render personal honors.  Drums play the ruffles, and bugles play the flourishes – one flourish for each star of the flag officer’s rank or as appropriate for the honoree’s position or title. Four flourishes is the highest honor.

* Note: Another mistake that I have noticed being used by the media is the term “Mistah.”

Mistah is only used if the military officials were CLASSMATES during their Philippine Military Academy years.

Cavalier is  used by PMAers because they went to the same military school. In laymen’s term it is known as schoolmate.


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