Pershing’s Own: 30 Facts About the US Army Band

If you have ever watched the United States Army Band (Pershing’s Own) in person and live, you were surely amazed at the great skills demonstrated. Every member of the band takes great pride in wearing a United States Army uniform and playing their instrument to Army standards and above.

The United States Army trains and maintains the best Army in the world, and that includes the music played by the United States Army Band. That is why in today’s post, I am going to point out 30 facts about Pershing’s Own… The U.S. Army Band.

1: Founded

On January 25th of 1922, the United States Army Band was founded, formed and established.

2: Who Founded

You should know this by the title, but General of the Armies, John Pershing had heard other country’s army bands playing during World War I. He believed the United States Army could, and would have the best Army band, so he established one.

3: The Radio Waves

Pershing’s Own was so popular in the early days that citizens all across the nation were tuning their radios to hear the U.S. Army Band play. They were featured on the top radio networks of:

4: Headquarters

The U.S. Army Band is headquartered at Fort Myers, Virginia.

5: Spain

The world received its taste of the professionalism of Pershing’s Own at the Ibero-American Exposition in 1929. Many from other countries agreed that the U.S. Army Band may just be the best.

6: Deployed

Just because these soldiers were band members did not mean they didn’t see war. Pershing’s Own were deployed to North Africa and Europe for World War II, and they received a campaign streamer for the Rhineland Campaign.

7: Famous Members

There have been some members of Pershing’s Own who have gained fame. People like:


Pershing’s Own has multiple ensembles. The next facts are those.

8: Army Brass Quintet

Formed in 1972, these 5 horn players will blow your mind.

9: Army Concert Band

Formed in 1946, they have played in such locations as Carnegie Hall and Berlin’s Philharmonie.

10: Army Strings

The Army Strings have provided backdrop music for some of the most extravagant events in the nation.

11: Army Ceremonial Band

This was the original. They march and play at funerals and major ceremonies all over. Only the best Army musicians are accepted.

12: Army Herald Trumpets

Wherever the President of the United States is, you will also most likely hear these amazing trumpet players. They are amazing!

13: Army Chorus

Formed in 1956, this male chorus has added that vocal pleasure to Pershing’s Own.

14: Army Band Downrange

The duty of this ensemble formed in 2002 is to entertain and delight troops and others overseas.

15: The Army Blues

We all love jazz, and Pershing’s Own just had to have a jazz band. In 1972, The Army Blues Jazz Band became reality.

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  3. The Top 15 Army Leadership Failures Of All Time
  4. Top 17 Army Chiefs Of Staff Of All Time
  5. Army 42R MOS: Musician

Famous Events Pershing’s Own Performed At

There is no possible way I could list all the famous functions that Pershing’s Own has performed at in this blog post, but following are some highly significant ones.

16: President John F. Kennedy

The United States mourned in 1963 when the President was assassinated. Pershing’s Own performed at the State Funeral of President Kennedy while citizen’s cried.

17: The Bicentennial

Pershing’s Own were quite busy in 1976. It was 200 years since the United States became a nation, and the U.S. Army Band played and played.

18: Iranian Hostages

They were held hostage for 444 days between 1979 and 1981. Many Americans wondered if we would see these citizens returned. Finally, they were released, and upon their return to the United States, the hostages were greeted by Pershing’s Own.

19: Desert Storm Victory

When it was declared a victory, the U.S. Army Band played in the Desert Storm Victory Parade in New York City.

20: Reba

Who will forget Reba McEntire’s Christmas special held in Nashville when Pershing’s Own joined her?

21: Downrange and Operation Enduring Freedom

In 2002, Pershing’s Own Downrange joined a plethora of other musicians in a special USO tour of the Middle East. It was the first time Pershing’s Own had performed in a war zone since 1945.

22: Gardens of Stone

Pershing’s Own played a huge part in Francis Ford Coppola’s movie Gardens of Stone in 1987.

23: Leaders

The leaders of Pershing’s Own through the years were:

  • 1922 Warrant Officer Francis Leigh

  • 1923-1935 Warrant Officer William Stannard

  • 1935-1946 Captain Thomas Darcy

  • 1946-1964 Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Curry

  • 1964-1976 Colonel Samuel Loboda

  • 1976-1990 Colonel Eugene Allen

  • 1990-2000 Colonel L. Bryan Shelburne, Jr.

  • 2000-2005 Colonel Gary Lamb

  • 2005-2011 Colonel Thomas Rotondi, Jr.

  • 2011-2014 Colonel Thomas Palmatier

  • Current Colonel Timothy Holtan

24: The U.S. Army Band Official March

The official march of Pershing’s Own is: The Army Goes Rolling Along.

Web Presence

The United States Army Band has made its presence known on the web.

25: Website

This is the official website of Pershing’s Own.

26: Facebook

You can find Pershing’s Own on Facebook here.

27: Twitter

See Pershing’s Own latest tweets here.

28: Flickr

Photos and more of Pershing’s Own are here.

29: YouTube

If you cannot see them live, at least you can view their videos here.

30: Pinterest

Follow Pershing’s Own pins here.

Final Words

If you have the opportunity to see Pershing’s Own live, do so! You will love it!

If any of you members of the U.S. Army Band are reading this, please comment and tell us about your position.

If you have any comments or questions about Pershing’s Own, post them below. Thank you for visiting, and have a great day!

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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