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Thread: Career in a Military Band?

  1. After all this time? Always.
    Er-my-knee's Avatar
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    #1

    Help Career in a Military Band?

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    Hey everybody!

    So, this coming May I will graduate from college with a degree in music as well as English. I have a lot of options for after college and a variety of things that I'm interested in. However, I can't seem to shake the idea of playing in a military band. I really want to know more about this career path. Do any of you have experience with this? Or just advice in general? Thoughts on different branches? I'm doing lots of research, but figured that it wouldn't hurt to post on here as well.


    TIA
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    #2
    I am not in the band however my command runs a major Fleet band. If you have any questions I can put you in contact with a band member.
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    #3
    I had a friend whose husband was in a marines band in washington DC. All he ever did was practice.. so if you really love playing then I'm sure you would enjoy it. I don't know too much about what he did, but I'm sure it was exciting. He played at the inauguration and such.
  4. Ummmmm...........
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    #4
    I know the navy has a pretty large muscian program. From what I hear MU's (that would be your rate, if you enlisted) advancement is really really good. It's something you should ask recruiters. Go to a bunch of different ones. Go to all the different branches and even different recruiters in different cities.
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Abbynormal View Post
    I know the navy has a pretty large muscian program. From what I hear MU's (that would be your rate, if you enlisted) advancement is really really good. It's something you should ask recruiters. Go to a bunch of different ones. Go to all the different branches and even different recruiters in different cities.
    To be honest, the Navy's Musician field is going through a slight reduction and the numbers for advancement are less than the Navy average. The best thing about the Navy is that the musician field is the only rating right now where if you join they will pay off up to 60K of your college loans. That is something that you have to bring up to the recruiter when talking to them.
  6. "If you don't like my attitude, quit talking to me"
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    #6
    The AF band is pretty cool, have heard them play a few times. Here in DC they alternate among the other branches performing at various things, such as funerals, parades, inaugaration, etc. In the AF, you get automatic E5 coming out of basic. I don't think you promote quickly, I think you have to stay an E5 for so long before can move up to E6, but I'm not sure.

    With the AF Band, they also have 'side' units such as Tops in Blue which is a small group that contains singers, instruments, etc that perform worldwide.

    Something worth looking into...

    There are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don't
  7. Ummmmm...........
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by NC@SEA View Post
    To be honest, the Navy's Musician field is going through a slight reduction and the numbers for advancement are less than the Navy average. The best thing about the Navy is that the musician field is the only rating right now where if you join they will pay off up to 60K of your college loans. That is something that you have to bring up to the recruiter when talking to them.
    Oh wow I didn't know that. I guess things have changed, then. Back in 2010 it was really good. I can't say that I'm surprised advancement has gone down, though.
  8. Super Speshil
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    #8
    M was a musician, tuba player, for 3rd MAW Band (MCAS Miramar) during his first enlistment. Of course I'd say USMC because they are the best. You may be familiar with the Commandant's Own and President's Own. You have to be pretty damn good to get into both. Damn near perfect to get into the President's Own. Those accepted into the President's Own enter as an E-6.

    To be accepted into the music program you have to audition and then you attend the school of music, which is 6 months.

    School of Music

    F.A.Q.

    You should know, a lot of recruiters aren't familiar with the music program so it is important going in to have information about it. In the MC, the music program is a critical field, at least it has been for some time and they were offering bonuses for a while. I believe it's 6k. Recruits signing up to go into the music program also mean a quota boost for the RS because it is a critical field. M was a PFC upon boot graduation and picked up E-4 two weeks after his year mark. M enjoyed it for the time he was in, but decided to switch fields. All of the West Coast bands perform in the Rose Parade. There are a lot of military and civilian functions. Lots of traveling. M was part of President Reagan's procession.

    You can consider going Warrant Officer or auditioning for the Commandant's Own or President's Own because of your background. The President's Own is one of the most prestigious wind bands in the world.

    Commandant's Own:

    Marine Drum and Bugle Corps at Arlington Park - YouTube

    This year's Rose Parade:

    USMC West Coast Composite Band - 2012 Pasadena Rose Parade - YouTube

    Rose Parade 2012 - USMC Band - YouTube

    President's Own:

    Presidents Own - YouTube
    Pax, Aeon
  9. Super Speshil
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    #9
    Another video. Brings back memories.

    2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, USMC, Performs at Canadian International Military Tattoo 2011 - YouTube

    Performing in Babylon during his second deployment. He still talks about it. Definitely a proud moment.

    Pax, Aeon
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    #10
    Did you want to commission Er-my-knee? I am almost positive all band members come in, enlisted. At least on the Navy side.
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