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Middle English, from Anglo-French tur, tourn turning, circuit, journey


  • 1a : one's turn in an orderly schedule : shift
b : a period during which an individual or unit is on a specific duty or at one place <a tour of duty>
b : a brief turn : round
c : a series of professional tournaments

Tour of Duty

In the Navy, a tour of duty is a period of time spent performing operational duties at sea, including combat, performing patrol or fleet duties, or assigned to service in a foreign country.

For military soldiers, a tour of duty is a usually a period of time spent in combat, but can also include patrol duties in times of peace.

For example, in World War II a tour of duty for a RAF (Royal Air Force) bomber crew was 30 flights. That number could take up to 12 months.

For the Navy, a tour of duty is part of a rotation, where the ship may spend a six months tour of duty, then spend one month in home port for maintenance, then a period of time on exercises, then return to their tour of duty.

A general tour of duty for soldiers comprises service that can last from half a year to four years. Generally duties that last longer than 2 years are eligible to receive medals of merit related to their service. Tours of duty can also be extended involuntarily for service members, such as in September 2006 when the tour of duty was extended for 4,000 US military personnel in Iraq.

Concert Tour

A concert tour is a series of concerts by an artist or group of artists in different cities or locations. Oftentimes concert tours are named, to differentiate tours by the same artist and associate a specific tour with a particular album or product (for example: Michael Jackson's Bad Tour). Especially in the popular music world, such tours can become large-scale enterprises that last for several months or even years, are seen by hundreds of thousands or millions of people, and bring in millions of dollars (or the equivalent) in ticket revenues.

Different segments of longer concert tours are known as "legs". The different legs of a tour are denoted in different ways, dependant on the artist and type of tour, but the most common means of separating legs are dates (especially if there is a long break at some point), countries and/or continents, or different opening acts. In the largest concert tours it is becoming more common for different legs to employ separate touring production crews and equipment, local to each geographical region. Concert tours are often administered on the local level by concert promoters or by performing arts presenters.