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Chapter 19

This chapter describes the missions and organization of the band. All Active Army, Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserve bands are table of organization and equipment (TOE) units.


Band doctrine applies to Active Army and Reserve Component bands. Bands positively influence the soldiers' will to prepare for and win in war. Bands perform music before, during, and after combat to achieve those ends. They garner support for the soldier among the American people, recruit new soldiers to fill the ranks, influence good soldiers to remain in the Army, and contribute to their parent organization's combat power.


The band's mission in a force projection Army is to provide music to enhance unit cohesion and soldier morale and to provide musical support to civil/military operations, coalition operations, recruiting operations, and national and international community relations operations. During contingency operations, mobilization/demobilization, and major training exercises, the mission may expand to include musical support for civil affairs and psychological operations.


Army bands have responsibility for the following critical tasks:

  • Provide music inherent to soldiering, including military ceremonies, entertainment for troop gatherings and activities, and official religious programs.
  • Assist in recruiting by projecting a professional image of the military to potential recruits through concerts, shows, and performances at local schools and community events.
  • Provide music to civil authorities for a variety of audiences and purposes including, but not limited to, displaced populations in tent cities or other temporary housing, troop cantonment areas, essential item issue points, and medical operations areas.
  • Build the confidence and cooperation of indigenous nationals at host-or third nationsponsored events such as concerts, parades, and ceremonies.
  • Build and maintain the national will of the American people through direct soldier/civilian contact at public concerts, parades, deployment and redeployment ceremonies, and victory celebrations.
  • Assist in psychological operations by using musical performances to promote support for friendly forces by local populations.
  • Bands are trained and equipped to defend themselves and may temporarily perform local security missions when required by the tactical situation. Bands do not normally hold terrain or engage in the offense.


The band is employed in national, general, and direct support roles. General and direct support are provided at three levels: division, corps, and echelons above corps.

The band as a non-threatening show of force can be the commander's greatest tool in advancing national and unit goals. The professional appearance and technical competence of a band instills confidence in our Army's ability and commitment to persevere. Special Bands, Army Bands (general support), and Division/Army Bands (direct support) perform operations during peace, operations other than war, and war.

Bands function most effectively to enhance combat power when the following principles are applied: commit bands in areas where large numbers of troops are concentrated; take the initiative to relieve the tension of waiting and the stress of combat by having the band perform popular music in cantonment areas; and build unity and cohesiveness through performance of traditional military ceremonies.


Three Special Bands are maintained to support DA-level interests in community and international relations. The United States Army Band (Pershing's Own) provides musical support to the National Capital Region. The United States Army Field Band provides musical support to the Secretary of the Army and HQDA Chief of Public Affairs. The United States Military Academy Band provides musical support to the United States Military Academy.


Army bands which deploy with a theater Army, TAACOM, or corps normally operate in the rear echelon areas. They are the only bands available for full-time morale support operations.

Theater Army and TAACOM areas are the most likely to require musical support for military ceremonies; morale support in rest, recreation, and assembly areas; and civil affairs operations. In these roles, Army bands support requirements for recognition of combat accomplishments and low-threat evidence of American resolve.


Bands provide direct support to divisions, training installations, and mobilization stations. Bands provide music to influence the soldiers' will to prepare for war, both before and during deployment to a combat theater of operations. Additionally, bands directly support soldier training collectively or in small groups during drill and ceremonies and training, and they are integral to deployment redeployment operations. The use of bands in the soldier orientation process reinforces unit cohesion and instills in the soldier a sense of national pride and discipline. Bands also build soldier morale and reinforce the will to endure training and combat by providing popular music that soldiers favor.


To adequately perform its assigned mission, the band must be highly mobile. The band at each echelon requires, as a minimum, 100 percent of its TOE equipment, supplies, and personnel to be transported in a single lift using organic vehicles, supported unit assets, or a combination thereof to provide service in its area of operations.


FM 12-50, U.S. Army Bands, provides comprehensive doctrine for band operations.

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