Army 42R MOS: Musician

While the United States Army’s primary responsibility is to defend the civilians and the country against enemies, it is also a system that has a pride. You can see that pride when you view officers and soldiers in their dress uniforms in attendance at a ceremony where an Army band is playing.

Yes, an Army band. There ARE musicians in the United States Army.

That is something I am going to discuss in today’s post. We are going to look at the Army 42R MOS: Musician. I will provide you with a basic job description. I will also tell you the musician’s duties and responsibilities. You will know the requirements to become an Army 42R, along with what training is required.

Basic Job Description Of The Army 42R Musician

Army musicians are the performers at a wide variety of Army and civilian functions. They may play ceremonial band, jazz band or just small ensembles, and they must be able to play all styles of music.

While all Army traditional musicians will have the 42R MOS, they will also have to have 1 or more additional skill identifiers on certain instruments. These are the instruments and the skill identifier:

  • Trumpet or cornet player – 9B

  • Baritone player – 9C

  • French horn player – 9D

  • Trombone player – 9E

  • Tuba player – 9F

  • Flute or piccolo player – 9G

  • Oboe player – 9H

  • Clarinet player – 9J

  • Bassoon player – 9K

  • Saxophone player – 9L

  • Percussion player – 9M

  • Keyboard player – 9N

  • Guitar player – 9T

  • Bass (electric) player – 9U

Army 42R Duties and Responsibilities

While the duties can vary somewhat depending on which instrument/s you play. Here are some of the main duties and responsibilities:

  • Perform the styles of music required on your instrument. Some of the most prevalent styles are: marching band, ceremonial band, popular musical works, concert band, ethnic, jazz and classical.

  • The ability to tune your instrument.

  • Matching pitch.

  • Perform maintenance on your instrument.

  • Guide and lead subordinate personnel.

  • Learning new music when not performing.

  • Security duties during combat operations.

These are the duties I found, but if you know of others, please tell us in the comments area at the end of this post.

Requirements To Become An Army 42R Musician

Requirements for becoming an Army 42R Musician are really quite minimal.

  • There are no ASVAB score requirements.

  • There are no United States citizenship requirements.

  • The PULHES is 222222

  • There are no security clearance requirements.

  • The primary requirement is an audition. By no means will this mean you need to be perfect on your chosen instrument, but you will have to audition before senior musicians before you can be accepted into this MOS. The key is having an audition score at, or above 2.3 according to the Army audition standards manual.

Your Army recruiter can explain the audition standards in better detail, but I do suggest you practice on your chosen instrument before auditioning.

Training To Become An Army 42R Musician

As with all new soldiers, the first training you are required to take is Basic Combat Training. For several weeks, you will be trained on weapons and you will be put into top physical condition. Once you have completed Basic Training, you will attend Advanced Individual Training.

Advanced Individual Training is held at the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia. You will receive:

  • Music theory training

  • Sight and ear training

  • Group instrumental technique training

  • Private instrumental training

  • Percussion technique training

The training averages 24 weeks, but can vary depending on your proficiency and the instrument you chose.

Final Thoughts

If you love music, and you want to serve your country, becoming an Army 42R just may be the best choice.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any questions?

We would love to hear from current or former Army musicians. Please tell us more about this job and the benefits you receive from it.

Just one other thing before I go; in the military, time management is extremely important. Chuck developed a wonderful Time Management Course to help you stay on track. If you want to learn how to get more out of the hours of a day, click here to order this course now.

Thanks for your service. You can post all comments and questions in the comment area at the end.

Other posts you may enjoy:

  1. Camp Upton New York: 10 Cool Facts
  2. Top 39 Tips To Run Faster
  3. Pershing’s Own: 30 Facts About the US Army Band


chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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2 thoughts on “Army 42R MOS: Musician”

  1. Hi, my name is Tyler. I’m currently serving the USMC as an infantryman with 2nd LAR. I wanted to join the Marine Corps Band but did not have the AFQT score for the job. So my question is: Is there a Certain rank I have to be to have a job in the army’s band?

    1. It depends on your situation. If you have PCSed from the Marines talk to a recruiter about joining the army as a bandsmen. If you are still in the Marines it can be difficult. The Marines must be willing to let you go and the must be willing to take you. Plus you would probably need need to talk directly to a band commander to be accepted to a band.

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