215th Army Band Unit History

The 215th Army Band of the Massachusetts National Guard, under the command of CW3 Stephen M. Martins, is distinguished with many awards for military training as well as musicianship. Some of the military awards include the Eisenhower Trophy for the most outstanding company-size unit and a NATO Commendation from the Commander of the Icelandic Defense Force. The band has been the international musical ambassador for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on numerous occasions. During the 1986 Presidential Summit with the Soviet Union in Iceland the 215th was the only United States military band to perform for President Reagan. The 215th received honors for their successful tours of the republic of Jamaica and the country of Greece. In May 1995, the band traveled to The Netherlands to help commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of WW II. In 1996, 2000, and 2005 the band traveled to Fort Monroe, VA to back-fill for The United States Continental Army Band. The band has recently returned from Heidelberg, Germany where they back-filled for US Army Band Europe.
Formed in Boston in 1950 with only 14 members, the band moved to Fall River in 1974. Primarily, the band performs across the state in concerts, parades, and state functions. Those who know the 215th know of their professionalism and dedication to their unit, the military, and to the community in which they serve.

215th Army Band Band Regalia


The color blue and gold are taken from the Massachusetts State flag. The wavy, a heraldic symbol for water, reflects the State’s nickname, “The Bay State,” and alludes to Massachusetts' seaside location as well as the importance water has played in the State’s development and industries. The six stars refer to Massachusetts’ entry into the Union as the sixth state, while the Mayflower and elm branches are representative of the State flower and State tree. The red pentagon with the State crest are from the shoulder sleeve insignia of the Massachusetts Army National Guard.

The band regalia were approved on 25 November 1977.

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

Distinctive Unit Insignia