The 1st Marine Division Band, based out of Camp Pendleton, California, consists of 50 Marine musicians. While the primary mission of the 1st Marine Division Band is to provide musical support for military parades and ceremonies, they remain versatile to accommodate other needs. In addition to the Ceremonial Band and Concert Band, the band forms smaller ensembles such as Big Band, Jazz Combo, Brass Quintet, and Party Band. They perform at over 300 commitments a year, with highlights including the State Funeral of President Ford, the Tournament of Roses Parades, Disneyland's Independence Day Concerts, and annual concerts at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. In 2007, the 1st Marine Division Band was awarded the "Colonel George S. Howard Citation of Musical Excellence for Military Concert Bands" administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation.
The 1st Marine Division Band was organized during World War II in the Pacific Theater of Operations in the early 1940's. Since then, The 1st Marine Division Bandsmen have drawn their rifles in support of several operations, including Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom I and II. The band was attached to Headquarters Company, Regimental Combat Team 5 and deployed to Camp Fallujah, Iraq from February 2006 to January 2007, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07. The band served in combat missions as a security platoon, with Marines serving as a security force in Central Fallujah, a mobile security convoy, and a mobile security team for an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team. Marines of the 1st Marine Division Band continue to serve as individual augments to I Marine Expeditionary Force, as we are still in the fight on the War on Terror.
All Marine Corps Bands fulfill the objective of preserving the values that comprise the unique and fundamental national strength and character of the United States. Whether performing music or serving in a combat zone, the 1st Marine Division Band carries on this esteemed tradition and remains the Pride of the Division.