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Special Band Member (42S)

Arts and Media Army MOS Information
  • Enlisted
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve
  • Not an entry level position

Music plays an important role in the Army. Members of Army Bands are involved in the rich tradition of performing at Army ceremonies, parades, concerts, festivals, dances and many other events. Musicians perform in a variety of ensembles ranging from ceremonial bands to jazz bands to small ensembles, playing all styles of music.

The Special Band Member is an integral part of the Army music team, performing as a musician or serving in direct support of the mission of the U.S. Army Band, U.S. Army Field Band, U.S. Military Academy Band or the 3rd Infantry (The Old Guard) Fife and Drum Corps.

Some of your duties as a Special Band Member may include:

  • Playing in or leading bands, orchestras, combos and jazz groups
  • Performing in military and civilian ceremonies, street parades, concerts, festivals and dances
  • Rehearsing and learning new music when not performing
  • Performing all applicable styles of music
  • Transposing music by sight as required
  • Performing maintenance on instrument
  • Supervising and performing organizational maintenance of equipment
  • Performing as an administrative, supply, operations or training Sergeant
  • Participating in security duties during heightened combat intensity as required


In order to qualify for a position with the Army Band, you must pass one or more auditions. You must be an accomplished musician and have good music sight-reading ability.


Job training for a Special Band Member consists of nine weeks of Basic Training, where you’ll learn basic Soldiering skills. Although special band members do not attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT), they will have continuous training to maintain their instrumental proficiency.

Helpful Skills:

Helpful attributes include:

  • An interest in band, music theory, harmony and other music courses
  • Poise when performing in public
  • Multi-instrumental abilities

Advanced Responsibilities:

Advanced level Special Band Members supervise and train other Soldiers. They also perform as instrumentalists or vocalists in field music detachments or as technicians in special band support activities.

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