YOU NEED TO KNOW THE ARMY SONG BEFORE BASIC TRAINING
By Buddy Blouin
Music has been a source of unity for thousands of years. It’s no surprise that the U.S. Army uses this highly desirable medium as a tool for bringing Soldiers together, spreading American pride, and setting the mood for various ceremonies. But these songs go much further than the typical Army cadence songs we’re so used to seeing through various forms of media. The Army Song is a perfect example, as all Soldiers are required to learn and sing this unifying anthem whenever it's being played.
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What Is The Army Song?The song was first written by Field Artillery First Lieutenant Edmund L. Gruber, who would later become Brigadier General. Gruber wrote the song in 1908 while serving in the Philippines and called it “Caisson Song." It was originally written to describe the daily routine of a horse-drawn field artillery battery. In 1917, John Philip Sousa transformed the song into a march called “The Field Artillery Song.” The Army adopted the song in 1952 as its official song, renaming it “The Army Goes Rolling Along.” Many today simply call it "The Army Song." The Army Song has lyrics focusing on the history of the Army, its triumphs through battles, and the future successes of the branch. It’s a source of pride and fellowship that's played after all ceremonies held by the Army. Soldiers will stand and sing along together when it's played.
How To Join the United States Army BandFirst of all, if you're looking to use your musical prowess to serve your country, you’re in luck. There isn’t just one band but more than 80 U.S. Army bands that Soldiers can be a part of. The U.S. Army bands serve many purposes, including carrying on the pride of the Army, spreading patriotism, lifting the morale of Soldiers, commemorating occasions, and more. Members can enjoy a life of service and travel around the world, all while focusing on playing and creating music, including the Army songs you’ll learn to know and love throughout your time in the service. Joining one of the U.S. Army bands only takes a few steps. Soldiers interested in joining can do so by following these steps:
- First, reach out and let the Army know that you're interested in playing in the U.S. Army bands.
- A musical skill test will be conducted with the Army to assess your skill level.
- If selected for the U.S. Army bands, you can serve as either an Army Bands Musician, Special Bands member, or Army Bands Officer.
- After completing basic training, you’ll spend time at the Army School of Music in Virginia Beach, VA, for Advanced Individual Training (AIT), a ten-week course required for band members.
Learning the Lyrics to The Army SongRemembering the lyrics for the Army Song is just like any other tune. The more you listen, the easier it becomes. You can also download a lyrics poster to sing along as you learn. Available on many major streaming platforms, including Spotify, Pandora, YouTube Music, and Deezer, a rendition of the Army Song is available for your enjoyment wherever you go. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4i3jRe0yEY If you’re in a hurry to learn the lyrics to the Army Song, try these helpful tips:
- Repetition works, but you can also write down the lyrics with or without music.
- Understand that even in a rush, memorization is a process.
- Try digesting smaller portions of the song, such as only a verse rather than the entire piece of music.
- Alternate this with full playthroughs.
- Visualize the lyrics and remember cues that invoke emotions that aid with your memory.
- Mentally prepare through your internal monologue, if possible.
Suggested read:How the Army PaYS Program Is Helping Young Soldiers Build Careers
Image: Twitter | @usarmy; DVIDS | The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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