How do I become a musician in the
United States Marine Corps?
The Marine Corps is always holding auditions for their fleet bands. Contact your nearest USMC recruiting office to begin the process of auditioning and enlisting. Speak with a recruiter and communicate your interest in auditioning to be a musician in the fleet band. Your recruiter will speak to the regional placement director for the Marine Music Program, also known as the Musical Technical Assistant (MTA). This Marine is responsible for the screening, auditioning, and processing of all individuals joining the Marine Corps as a musician. Your regional MTA will provide you with the prepared excerpts for your audition; in addition to this, you may be required to prepare an excerpt of your choice from your instrument's standard repertoire. You will then be expected to send a video submission of all the prepared material. Upon approval of screening, you will be scheduled for a live audition. After successfully performing to the required grade level at your live audition, you are now ready to finish your application process.
To become a musician in the fleet band, every applicant must first earn the title of "United States Marine." After your admittance into the music program, you will be screened through the Military Entrance Processing Station to ensure you are medically and physically approved to undergo recruit training. Once you have met the criteria, you are ready to ship to the thirteen week long Recruit Training, where you will learn what it takes to become a United States Marine. The day you ship marks the start of your initial four-year commitment. Following Recruit Training, you will undergo four weeks of Marine Combat Training (MCT). You will then attend the six month long Naval School of Music in Virginia Beach, VA, where you will learn the musical and marching fundamentals required of a Marine Corps Musician. Upon graduation, you are finally ready to join a fleet band!
There are ten Field Bands in the Marine Corps. These include the following:
1st Marine Division Band in Camp Pendleton, CA
3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band in Miramar, CA
Marine Band San Diego in San Diego, CA
Quantico Marine Corps Band in Quantico, VA
2d Marine Division Band in Camp Lejeune, NC
2d Marine Aircraft Wing Band in Cherry Point, NC
Parris Island Marine Band in Parris Island, SC
Marine Forces Reserve Band in New Orleans, LA
Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band in Oahu, Hawaii
III Marine Expeditionary Force Band in Okinawa, Japan
Upon completion of the midterm audition at the School of Music, Marines are given the opportunity to select three bands where they prefer to be stationed. Headquarters Marine Corps considers your choices along with the needs of the individual bands when assigning Marines to their first tour of duty. The Naval School of Music and every Fleet Band will provide you a government issued instrument that you will be able to use for the duration of your time, as well as any supplementary materials your instrument may require (mouthpieces, valve oil, reeds, etc). In addition, all active-duty military members are entitled to college tuition assistance programs. Many of our musicians earn their degrees while serving.
Locate your nearest Marine Corps Recruiting office today to find out more and start your career!
Flute/Piccolo Clarinet Saxophone
Oboe Bassoon Trumpet
Horn Trombone Tuba
Percussion Piano String Bass
The President's Own and Commandant's Own have separate audition requirements than the ten field bands. Visit their websites for upcoming auditions and more information.