From time to time, social media or an occasional article on military bands gives people an opportunity to voice their support or displeasure with the money spent on military music assets. This is often followed by a wave of comments both for and against. I’m biased, but I also speak from first-hand knowledge and experience. Seventeen years worth of experience. Does the Department of Defense wisely spend every dime of the American taxpayer’s money? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say…no. Continue reading
My wife and I have been in Korea for about four months now. There are things that I miss about living in the U.S. and there are things I love about living in Korea. Obviously, I miss my friends and family, and living in an Asian culture certainly takes some getting used to, but here are a few things I like about Korea that I wish we would adopt in the United States: Continue reading
I’ve written here and there about my job and the satisfaction I get serving as an Army Music Officer, but so many people – both civilians and military – ask me how I became an Army Music Officer. Having been in the Army for over 17 years now (gulp) and having served as the Army Music Officer auditions coordinator for three years, I think I have as good a perspective as any on the process.
After a vacation for the ages with my wife and her family, we said goodbye to Virginia Beach and the Army School of Music, which had been our home for five years. We’ll always carry a lot of wonderful memories to go with the occasional headaches, but we were more than ready to move on to our next adventure – Korea. Thankfully, our flight to Korea took us through Seattle, giving us the opportunity to visit with two of our closest friends and their family before the long flight through Japan to Osan Airforce Base. When we finally did arrive at United States Army Garrison Yongsan, which is located in the Republic of Korea’s capital city of Seoul, we were excited to hit the ground running, taking very little time before wondering off base. Continue reading
It’s been a long, long time since I last published a post on this blog. I could say I had a good reason, but the truth is I let my busy work schedule be an excuse to do other things…like watch “Blacklist” and “Agents of Shield.” The truth is that I think deep down I felt like I had said all I wanted to say about my time at the Army School of Music – I was there for five years after all – and was hoping that a return to the “operational” domain (i.e., serving at a band) would inspire me to write again…almost true. I did feel inspired to write again, but I also felt a little overwhelmed with moving to a foreign country and the new job, so I again made excuses. No more. For the five of you who have been hoping I would return to this space, the wait is over. Continue reading
Well, I’ve been back in the States for a little over a month and had time to recharge and reflect on my time serving as USARCENT Bands LNO. Besides the invaluable experience I gained working on the USARCENT staff, I came away with a few important lessons: Continue reading
Last week, after months of coordination, I was able to finally travel to Jordan to meet with the Jordanian Armed Forces Band leadership and their Music Advisor from the British Military Advisory Team. While our good friends from the UK are embedded with the Jordanians as advisors and trainers, the Jordanians are interested in supplementing this with training at the U.S. Army School of Music. My trip to Jordan was a direct result of them contacting me while back at the School of Music when I was serving as the Director of Training. Since I knew I was coming to the area, we tentatively planned to meet in person. It took some doing to line up our schedules (including accounting for Ramadan), but I was finally able to make it out last week. Continue reading