29th Division Band History

The 29th Infantry Division Band, Virginia Infantry Division National Guard, has existed since 1922 and has served the Commonwealth and the nation with distinction ever since. The Band originated in Roanoke as a section of the 116th Infantry Brigade’s Service Company. In October 1943 it was inducted into federal service as part of the “Blue and Gray” 29th Division. The “Blue and Gray” moniker reflected the division’s heritage, which included both Maryland (Union Blue) and Virginia (Confederate Grey). Band members joined in the assault on Omaha Beach (D-Day), an action for which they received the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. In all, they saw action in four European campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, and Central Europe.

In 1946, the 29th Division Band was inactivated. Its Virginia segment became the 90th Army Band, the “Governor’s Own,” a title which it retained until October 1985. That year, it once again put on the Blue and Gray patch, this time as the Band for the 29th Light Infantry Division, the only one of its kind in the entire U.S. Infantry Division National Guard.

Present-day missions take Band members all over (and sometimes outside) the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Band was assigned to Bosnia-Herzegovina to Stabilization Force 10 in 2002 and to the 60th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France in 2004. They perform in concert, marching band, and small ensembles for military and civilian functions alike, with a repertoire that meets the needs of all of its audiences.

In October 2005, the 29th ID Band was renamed the 29th Army Band and came under the 91st Troop Command of the Virginia National Guard. This move was part of a nation-wide reorganization of the U.S. Infantry Division and National Guard. We proudly continue the mission of supporting the troops of the Virginia National Guard, the U.S. Infantry Division, and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In November 2009, the unit was relocated to Petersburg, VA. On 1 February 2010, the 29th Army Band returned to the command of the 29th Division as the 29th Division Band. This was in anticipation of a 12 month deployment to Iraq in Aug-Oct 2010. After conducting a SRP and four months of training, the unit was told to cancel all plans and training and return to the approved training calendar.

During Training Year 2010 the 29th Division Band supported 37 missions for live audiences with an audience count well over 138,000. The unit also performed 44 funeral bugler missions for a combined mission count of 81. The 29th AB completed its Annual Training based at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach performing for audiences across the entire Commonwealth. The 29th AB also completed its third annual holiday tour for military families, performing at locations where large numbers of Virginia National Guard members have been deployed.

In June 2014, The band sent a brass Group to perform in Nomandy France. The "Normandy Brass" performed on 22 missions in 5 days all over the Normandy Region of France. They were the only Army Band to perform on 6 June on Ohama Beach at 0630 to observe the 70th anniversity of the D-Day landings. The rest of the band performed in Bedford VA at the same time as the Brass Group did in Vierville, France. The band finished the training year with 62 missions and 82 Funeral mission.

In Training Year 2015, the band performed at the Apple Blossom Parade in Winchester, VA for over 100,000 people. We also performed the National Anthem at the NASCAR Race in Richmond VA on September 11th. The 29th Division Band returned to the National D-day Memorial on June 6th for the 71st Anniversary of the landings in France. We had the great honor of have COL Gabriel of the US Air Force Band and 29th Division Veteran of WWII conduct us in a concert in Bedford. The band finished the year with 52 Missions and 31 Funeral Missions for 258,000 people.

In 2017, the band performed at the Apple Blossom Parade in Winchester for around 110,000 People. The 29th Division Band also closed our home in Clifton Forge and moved into our new building in Troutville VA. That move was made just days after 9 soldiers performed in Kuwait for the RIP-TOA for the 29th Division. This was the bands first trip to the region and also be under Patton's Own 3rd Army for the event. The band finished the year with around 43 Missions and over 85 Funeral Missions.

In 2018, The band continued to travel the Commonwealth. We performed on 42 Missions and supported Military Funerals Honors on over 100 Funerals.

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

Distinctive Unit Insignia