Staff Sergeant Ted McElwee enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 2000 and attended Recruit Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, CA. After Recruit and Marine Combat Training, PFC McElwee reported to the Naval School of Music in Virginia Beach, VA to complete the Basic Musician Course. Upon graduating in 2001, LCpl McElwee reported to the 1st Marine Division Band, Camp Pendleton, CA for duty as a Trombone Instrumentalist. During his tour, he performed trombone in Ceremonial Band, Concert Band, and Brass Quintet.
In February of 2003, Corporal McElwee deployed with 1st Marine Division Band to Kuwait where he served as a gunner in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Cpl McElwee returned to Ramadi, Iraq in 2004 with 1st MarDiv Band performing perimeter security operations. Cpl McElwee received a Certificate of Commendation for his services as Sergeant of the Guard aboard Camp Blue Diamond.
In January 2005, Sergeant McElwee began his college education at the University of Texas in Arlington and the Dallas Sound Lab; Mediatech Institute in Las Colinas, TX. While attending school, Sgt McElwee served as a trombonist and sound engineer with the 36th Infantry Division Band in Austin, TX. In 2007, the 36th ID Band was awarded the Colonel George S. Howard Citation for Musical Excellence in which Sgt McElwee performed in the Latin Combo, Big Band, Rock Band, Ceremonial Band and Concert Band. Sgt McElwee received a Recording Arts Diploma from the Dallas Sound Lab and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music in Media from UT Arlington in 2009.
In April 2011, Sgt McElwee reported to III Marine Expeditionary Force Band located in Okinawa Japan. Sgt McElwee performed duties as a Trombone Instrumentalist, Brass Quintet Leader, Brass Band Leader, Sound NCOIC, Training NCOIC, Supply NCOIC, Sergeant of the Guard, 60 PAX Bus Driver, Platoon Guide and featured Bagpipe soloist for III MEF Band concerts. Sgt McElwee was a member of III MEF Band when they were awarded the 2012 Marine Band of the Year. In 2014, Sgt McElwee was personally awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for his services with the band.
In September of 2014, Sergeant McElwee reported to the Naval School of Music in Virginia Beach, VA as a student in the Unit Leader’s Course. Upon graduation of the Unit Leader’s Course in 2015, Staff Sergeant McElwee reported to 2d Marine Aircraft Wing Band in Cherry Point, NC where he served as Small Ensemble Leader, Beachy Street Brass Band Leader, Showband Leader, Sound Engineer, Lighting Technician and Trombone Instrumentalist.
SSgt McElwee returned to 1st Marine Division Band in June 2017 where he currently serves as Small Ensemble Leader.
Staff Sergeant McElwee’s military decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, Navy Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal (3rd award), National Defense Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal (2nd Award), , Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (5th Award).