by COL Bruce R. Pulver, Commander, The United States Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”)
The United States Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”) and The Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps once again took to the parade field on Friday, 29 September 2023, for the retirement ceremony of GEN Mark A. Milley and the swearing-in of the new Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, GEN Charles Q. Brown, Jr.
The ceremony, held at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, was hosted by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. Also in attendance were President Biden, Vice President Harris, Secretary of the Army Wormuth, and numerous other dignitaries.
While waiting for the Presidential motorcade to arrive, Pershing’s Own entertained the gathered attendees with a pre-ceremony performance of nine musical selections. The band then marched the formation of Joint-force troops onto the field to the familiar strains of the “Washington Post” march.
Following the arrival of the official party, rendering of honors, and the invocation, Pershing’s Own and The Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps executed a joint “Sound Off” replete with a pass-through maneuver and seamlessly alternating musical selections.
Following the “Sound Off,” the Commander of Troops escorted GEN Milley for a final inspection of the formation.
The Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps played as the Joint Color Guard was posted and then Pershing’s Own performed the National Anthem.
GEN Charles Q. Brown Jr. was then sworn in as the 21st Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
After the swearing-in ceremony, GEN and Mrs. Milley were recognized on the occasion of his retirement from Active Duty after 43 years of service.
After speeches by Secretary Austin, President Biden, GEN Brown, and GEN Milley, troops passed in review. Pershing’s Own concluded the ceremony with a performance of the Service Song Medley.