3rd ID Band -- boots on the ground

By SPC Thomas Smith

News story photo
Photo credit: SPC Thomas Smith
Hearing Protection Required
Deployed members of the 3rd Infantry Division Band hit the ground running last week with multiple performances on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Three brass quintet performances in DFACs on Thanksgiving and an impromptu outdoor brass-band concert in front of the PX last Saturday evening were well received by both military and civilian audience members. These early appearances should lay the groundwork for more performance requests in the near future.

The seven member brass group is the first of three MPTs that will deploy on rotation to Afghanistan over the course of the next year in support of 3rd ID’s Division Headquarters. These ensembles have been structured to serve in ceremonial functions (e.g. ramp ceremonies) in addition to providing musical entertainment. The first MPT (Rocky 5 when performing as a brass quintet, Hearing Protection Required when a brass ensemble) will be followed by a woodwind quintet/acoustic rock ensemble and a Dixie/fusion band.

This deployment is the first for several of the brass ensemble’s members, including myself. Over the course of the first week, I discovered that deployment was much more than making the trip, rehearsing, and performing the music. Within a day of arrival, we began to repurpose abandoned office space into a band hall and quickly had a mirror of daily activity at Fort Stewart up and running, including everything from operations and training boards to the completion of online courses and paperwork required for computer access. Working alongside so many familiar faces, both from the band and Division Headquarters, almost makes it difficult to realize that Bagram is on the other side of the world. Our purpose remains clear, however, as we have begun to enjoy the satisfaction of providing support for the Army’s military mission through music.

Rhythm of the Marne...Rock of the Marne!


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