Curlydoc last edited by
What is required to qualify for one of the US military bands? My grandson has bachelor and master’s performance degrees in percussion from Rice University.
Based on your grandson's background, he might qualify for one of the service's Premier Bands. In the case of those, I would recommend he first see if he can find examples of the skill level by listening to YouTube videos of these bands.
The Premier Bands are The Air Force Band, The Army Band, The Army Field Band, The Marine Band, The Navy Band and The Coast Guard Band. Please note that these are ~THE~ ___Band and not ~a~ ___ band. Also be aware that the Marine Corps is part of the Dept. of the Navy.
Additionally, each service has its Academy Bands which are very good.
For requirements and more info, he can go to the web sites of each band.
You can also get similar information on the Fleet Bands and Field Bands by going to the respective service's web site. For example.
etc. He can google the others.
(in this context "field band should not be confused with the Army Field Band by the same name.)
If he lives in proximity to any of these bands, I encourage a trip to it (them), listen to the band and talk to the band's band recruiter, who is a bandsman NOT a local generic recruiter.
It is important that you do not initially talk with any of these Recruiting Service Recruiter. That will come later but that recruiter may not be aware of programs. policies and other programs specific to band programs. . They are generalists and may not be aware of the finer points regarding military musicians. Deal with the local band recruiter and the headquarters band office in D.C. (D.C. in this case is a generic term to signify that it is the Headquarters. Physically. some bands or music-program offices may actually be located elsewhere.)
Not to mean that the Premier Bands are not superior, but the field/fleet band programs of today are not your grandfather's bands.
Over the years, band programs have been progressively reduced. What that has meant is that. as bandsmen were numerically reduced, whatever deadwood was there has gradually been eliminated. Nowadays it's not unusual to find a high number of college-degreed bandsmen in the non-special bands, some even with Doctorates.
These days advanced degrees are not a given that an applicant will make a premier audition. After college loan repayment programs started, I ended up working with lots of musicians with MA and PHD in the fleet bands. Fleet/ field bands shouldn’t be overlooked - they are still a great career option, and I certainly enjoyed the opportunity to move to different locations and travel more than the premier bands do. For any military band, an audition is required, along with medical screening and background checks. Most musicians end up with a secret clearance because you end up playing ceremonies in spaces that can require it, so a clean background is a must. Upon acceptance, all bands require boot camp except The President’s Own, and all fleet/field bands except Air Force have a required school to pass after boot camp. Contact your closest local bands for more information, and contact a recruiter to set up an audition. If he only plans to join as a musician, he should not sign any paperwork until he passes the audition and is accepted into the music program. Good luck to him!
My guess, with a Master's Degree from Rice, he would probably be able to get into just about any band he wants to get into. Rice is one of the top music schools in the nation. However, getting into the military requires more than just musicianship. I hope he has a super clean record and can pass the PT requirements.
Rice may be outstanding but if there are two vacancies and 80 applicants, it's relative. Some of those other players may simply outplay the young man and that's the music business. And competition is fierce. There are no guarantees.
p.s. to the best of my knowledge, there are no P.T. entrance requirements only requirements to be met before graduation. But it certainly behooves one to be in the best shape they can get into before beginning boot camp/basic training. Less to worry about.
You're very welcome.
Dale Proctor last edited by
The Marine Band, “The Presidents Own”, is basically a professional band with no boot camp or other military service required. I believe if a person auditions and makes it, there’s just some military etiquette and uniform instruction required. No PT, firearm training, etc. All the other service bands require the members to be regular military, whose primary job is to play in the band.
When I was in a multi=service band s in D.C, it was pointed out to me by a Marine Bandsman that there is The Marine Band and Marine Corps Bands. Depending on your perspective, some took pride in belonging to one type orthe other.