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Music at the Grassroots

May 26, 2010 | Colonel Thomas Palmatier

in 1946, General Jacob Devers ordered LTC Chester Whiting to "organize a band that will carry into the grassroots of our country the story of our magnificent Army, its glorious traditions and achievements."   The U.S. Army Field Band continues to do that to this day.  Here are a few photos from recent concerts in Ohio and West Virginia.

The Army is a team of Soldiers and dedicated Department of the Army Civilians.  Most of our vehicles are driven by a top-notch team of transportation specialists.  Mr. Adam McCain, who will retire from government service this summer, is one of our great drivers.

Often, the musical demands of a piece may require more percussionists than we have assigned to the Concert Band.  MAJ Bruce Pulver was a percussionist (PMOS 42R9M) as an enlisted Soldier and is often put to work in the section.

As Soldiers retire, their place is assumed by new Soldiers.  SPC Chris Reardon, SPC Adrienne Hodges, and SPC Gina Leija attend a concert in Beckley, WV soon after their arrival from Basic Combat Training.  They are now busy training for their first tour starting in just a few weeks.

Why are we out on the road Telling the Army Story?  To remind Americans of how great their country is and how Soldiers remain the Strength of the Nation; pretty much exactly what the band was directed to do in 1946.

Info on upcoming free performances throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states is now available at  Check out audience reactions at




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