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399TH ARMY BAND
 FORT LEONARD WOOD, MISSOURI -

History

Summary

The 399th Army Band
History

With 60 years of continuous service at its home of Fort Leonard Wood,
the 399th Army Band has been on post longer than any other unit. The band
was first activated 67 years ago on 1 June 1944 as the 399 Army Service
Forces Band in Naples, Italy. This new unit was made primarily of personnel
from the recently-deactivated 6498th Army Band, successor of the 9th Cavalry
Band. Originally assigned 27 enlisted Soldiers and no officers, this band
performed at concerts, parades, dances and ceremonies throughout Italy. The
unit earned battle credit for participation in the ROME-ARNO Campaign in
1944.

After a short time in Italy, the 399 ASF Band moved to France in November
1944. A second battle participation credit was awarded for the Central
Europe Campaign, 25 June 1945. The band migrated again to Bremen, Germany.
There the band participated in large concerts joining with multiple German
civilian ensembles. Bob Hope's USO Show was one of the band's major venues
during its time in Germany. The 399 ASF Band also performed for the Federal
British Corps. Dances, parades, and military concerts kept the band busy
while supporting both American and Allied troops. The "Rough Riders," their
popular dance orchestra, performed almost nightly. A third battle
participation credit was awarded to the unit on 12 December 1945 for the
Rhineland Campaign. On 5 September 1946, the band officially accepted its
current name, the 399th Army Band. The 399th Army Band ended its tour of
Europe when it was inactivated on 20 January 1947.

The band was reactivated for a brief time in the Organized Reserves from 13
November 1947 to 5 May 1949. Until 7 March 1955, the unit remained inactive.
It was reactivated in the Regular Army at the US Army Training Center
Engineers and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where the unit resides today. The
new 399th Army Band was made up of members of the 326th Army Band, which was
deactivated on the same day. Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual
Training graduations were weekly commitments from the unit's first week at
Fort Leonard Wood. The 6th Armored Division Band was also stationed at Fort
Leonard Wood, and when deactivated, replaced with the 423rd Army Band. The
423rd and 399th shared both rehearsal space and performance
responsibilities, often combining for major events. The bands regularly
performed for graduations, Change of Command ceremonies, retirement
ceremonies, holiday celebrations, parades and sporting events on post, as
well as community events, concerts, and occasional charitable benefits in
the surrounding communities. The 423rd Army Band was disbanded in 1969,
leaving the 399th the only band on Fort Leonard Wood.

To this day, the 399th Army Band continues to serve Fort Leonard Wood and
the surrounding area, proud of the unit's rich history. As the 399th
extends beyond 60 years of continuous service to Fort Leonard Wood, we are, as
we always have been, World Class in All We Do.

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

Distinctive Unit Insignia