Up on the rooftop with Dogface Soldiers

By SPC Thomas Smith

News story photo
Photo credit: Lucas Jackson (Reuters)
Hearing Protection Required on Tactical Base Gamberi
The 3rd Infantry Division Band was represented in dozens of performances in several locations over the past three weeks. In addition to providing ceremonial support and entertainment on Bagram, the band’s deployed members completed missions on Tactical Base Gamberi, the Headquarters of Train, Advise, and Assist Command – East (TAAC-E) and at ISAF Headquarters, Kabul. The 3rd ID's brass ensemble continued to demonstrate versatility in its ability to perform both as a brass quintet (Rocky V) and a brass band (Hearing Protection Required).

As the 3rd ID's colors were uncased in a Transfer of Authority ceremony on 7 December, Rocky V was on hand as the Combined Joint Task Force-3 Band with pre-music, honors to the reviewing officer and nation, and the Division and Army Songs. A performance at the Korean Vocational Training Center's graduation ceremony brought the 3rd ID Band's music to an even wider audience as the quintet was heard by participants representing Korea and Afghanistan (including both the graduates and civic leaders) in addition to military leadership from ISAF nations. The quintet was able to react quickly with a new arrangement of a song requested by an outgoing chaplain who hoped to be accompanied as he sang in his final service after a year-long deployment. Sadly, the time also came for the quintet to support its first dignified transfer ceremony as two Fallen Heroes began their journey home.

A DFAC performance by Hearing Protection Required at TAAC-E set the stage for future performances on Tactical Base Gamberi. Along with continuing performances in DFACs across Bagram, the brass band was given the opportunity to travel with members of the 3rd ID command team to Kabul. While at ISAF Headquarters, the band gave an evening rooftop concert highlighted by audience dancing, participation in the singing of Christmas carols, and an enthusiastic rendition of the 3rd Infantry Division Song -- "Dogface Soldier." "It made it feel a little more like Christmas," one Australian officer remarked.

The variety of performances provided several chances to see both the diverse nature of Army music making (both in style and in setting) and the collaboration and support involved with the successful execution of the band's integral mission across multiple locations. From enlisted Soldiers' assistance in rehearsing the loading and unloading of Black Hawk helicopters, to the lending of hands by a lieutenant-colonel and a major general in the moving of equipment, the 3rd ID Band has enjoyed support and appreciation throughout the deployment. The enthusiasm expressed by all, from audience members to command teams, provides further motivation for the completion of the task at hand.

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


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