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4TH INFANTRY DIVISION BAND
 FORT CARSON, COLORADO -

History

Summary

In 2007 the 4th ID Band was stationed at Fort Hood Texas, and had just completed a 2nd deployment to Iraq in support of the Multi-National Division-Baghdad in late 2006. For the first half of 2007 the band was in transitiion as a lot of the members PCSd, and new members arrived in preparation of deploying again in November 07. During this time CW4 Otha Hester and 1SG Chris Lopez left the band and were replaced by 1SG Jeremy Smelser and CW5 Robert Nixon.

The band performed a few parades in Texas and other events such as the Fort Hood 4th of July, as well as provided music for change of commands on post, and several times played for PT with the Rock Band and Salsa Band. Due to shortages of personnel moving in and out, these two groups quickly became the only MPTs ready to perform in public, and in fact the rock band Loud Noises was the featured entertainment for the Ft Hood 4th of July. Since the installation still wanted the 1812 before the fireworks, the rock band prepared a guitar driven arrangement of 1812 for this event, but unfortunately got rained out after several songs and before unveiling the rockin' version of the 1812 Overture. This is just one creative example of how to use an MPT to meet the mission, regardless of style of music, since the concert band at that time would have had 1 clarinet and 1 flute and no oboe.

The new Commanding General of the 4th ID, MG Jeffrey Hammond, stated that he wanted the band to only play music on this upcoming deployment, and thanks to his leadership and vision, and the strong support of STB CDR LTC Dale Buckner, the band was able to focus almost entirely on music. The band completed minimal required deployment training, and deployed their advance team (SFC Butcher, SFC Reyna, SGT Leichsenring) to Kuwait in November. The rest of the band deployed a week later, and on December 1st CW5 Nixon and SFC Reyna flew to Baghdad from Kuwait to prepare for the TOA with the CAV Band trail party. About 3 DEC the rest of the unit arrived in Baghdad, and started to settle in for what would be a 14 month deployment, by setting up operations, forming MPTs, and then closing the year with a division wide New Years Eve outdoor concert featuring the jazz combo, salsa band, and rock band.

The CG of 4ID determined that all available personnel would deploy, so the band deployed all Soldiers and had no rear detachment for this deployment. Mr. Nixon believes that this was not a problem, since the band received good support from STB rear and DIV rear elements.

Also of note was that the band deployed with only 33 42R Soldiers, but received great support from the DIV with an additional 7 OJT Soldiers that contributed greatly to the unit's mission accomplishment. First Sergeant Smelser was directly responsible for this success, thanks to his discussion with the Commanding General about the band shortage of personnel, which resulted in the Chief of Staff of the 4ID directing the Brigade level commanders to support the band if they had any musicians that could play music. Five (5) other 42R Soldiers would deploy later in 2008, but the band would not continue to receive 42R replacements because of the relocation of 4ID from Ft Hood to Ft Carson planned for 2009. Despite not being filled 100% with personnel by HRC, the 4ID Band had a very successful and musical deployment ahead of it.

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