Why don’t we cut military music?

A friend posted this link and asked why, in these times of cutting military spending, does the Air Force spend money on a ‘band’ with a harp and a bunch of cellos? This was my response:
“Are you really going to pick on the band? The cost to the government or the taxpayers to pay that harpist and those cellists is minuscule when compared to their continued success in accomplishing their mission. Two of only twelve field bands in the Marine Corps were recently decommissioned as cost-saving measures. That means a combined total of over 600 ceremonies, events, concerts, and parades across the country each year won’t have live music to support them. I think that’s a shame. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a more cost-effective way of honoring military service through public outreach than through the military’s music programs. I started my military career as a Marine musician, and I can tell you that musicians are as hard working and devoted to serving their nation as anyone else who wears the uniform. They are, quite often, the closest many Americans will ever get to being face-to-face with someone who swore an oath to defend their country. Although their service is often under-appreciated, musicians are the ones who play the national anthem at ceremonies and Taps at funerals. By all means, let’s look at places to trim the budget, but to start in the place responsible for the wonderfully positive message of this video? I think we should try a little harder.”

Author: Matthew

I'm a Marine officer studying Material Logistics Support Management at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. I like to talk and write about all kinds of things: politics, religion, atheism, cars, motorcycles, sailing, books, movies, and anything else that strikes my fancy. The views expressed here are my own, and are in no way intended to represent the United States Marine Corps, Department of Defense or any of its components.

3 thoughts on “Why don’t we cut military music?”

  1. Have you ever noticed that all the sequestration cuts (as well as the last government shutdown) has been directed to those entities with the greatest “public face” ?
    Why is that?
    My one-word-guess : “politics”! Everything that is cut seems to be aiming towards affecting the outcome of “we the people”, vice “them” – the corporations and banks.

    Like military bands – the National Parks, museums, NTSB investigations, Aircraft registrations, Boat documentations, WIC programs, airshow air traffic control extortion and military airshow cancellations, along with other such closures and cancellations are but a drop in the bucket compared to the 430+ BILLION dollar XF35 Lightning debacle (and the untold maintenance headaches this bird will bequeath upon her squadrons).

  2. I used to work for the 7th Fleet Public Affairs office, and our most vital asset was the band. You can talk all you want, but only music can communicate across all languages. Those bands do such great ambassadorial work, and they really help the public understand the pride and culture of the military better. To this day, military bands are the best in the US.

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