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THE UNITED STATES ARMY BAND "PERSHING'S OWN"
 JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, VIRGINIA -

History

Summary

The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” has been the premier musical organization of the U.S. Army since 1922. Army Chief of Staff General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing founded the band, emulating European military bands he had heard during the First World War. “Pershing’s Own” continues to play an important role in events of national and international significance, and leads every inaugural parade, a tradition begun in 1925 with the inauguration of President Calvin Coolidge.

The U.S. Army Band became widely known during its early years for radio broadcasts featured on several networks. During World War II, the band was ordered overseas and performed throughout North Africa and Europe, becoming the only Washington-based band to participate in a theater of war. Over the years the band has expanded in scope and diversity, consistings of over 270 enlisted personnel and eight official ensembles: The U.S. Army Concert Band, The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, The U.S. Army Strings, The U.S. Army Blues (jazz ensemble), The U.S. Army Chorus, The U.S. Army Band Downrange (rock band), The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, and The U.S. Army Brass Quintet. Elements combine to create an orchestra, a woodwind quintet, and myriad small chamber ensembles and combos.

Today the musicians of “Pershing’s Own” render musical honors on a regular basis for foreign dignitaries, heads of state, diplomats, high-ranking military officers. The unit was honored to participate in the state funeral of former President Ronald Reagan in 2004 and former President Gerald R. Ford in 2006. Also, The U.S. Army Band plays a vital role in music education, often serving as the featured group at prominent music conferences and conventions throughout the nation and abroad.

Ensembles of The U.S. Army Band perform outdoor concerts during the summer months on the West Steps of the U.S. Capitol and throughout the Washington area. Throughout May and June, “Pershing’s Own” and the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) also present “Twilight Tattoo,” a military pageant that tells the history of the U.S. Army. During the cooler months, concerts and recitals are presented in local indoor venues and inside Brucker Hall, The U.S. Army Band’s home located on historic Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia.

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

Distinctive Unit Insignia