The Continental Army of 1776 depended upon quality musicians for regimental drill. The inspiration of the marching band was a significant contribution in the victory at the Battle of Bennington in 1777 as the band led the troops to the battle. By 1832, almost all regiments had a band, and by mid-19th century, regiments had additional field musicians of drummers and buglers to sound calls for specific times and to transmit commands in battle.
From the first formations of the Continental Army, bands were included in the ranks to provide music for two main purposes: ceremonial functions and bolstering troop morale. Army bands have borne the customs and traditions of the Army service, incorporating the legends and practices of the past, and representing them in the present. The band carries lineage and tradition of their units into the public view as they march as the vanguard of a wide variety of traditional ceremonies. The mace, the baldric, and the drums of an Army band display the battle honors of the division or unit it serves. In ways that written or spoken language cannot adequately convey, the patriotic music encourages an element of bonded spirit among all Soldiers. Army bands are a living testament of Army tradition.
The 4th Infantry Division Band was constituted July 30, 1943, as the Band, 4th Infantry Division, and activated at Fort Dix, New Jersey, Aug. 4, 1943. On Oct. 1, 1943, the band was consolidated with Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 4th Infantry Division Trains, and redesignated as Headquarters, Headquarters and Band, 4th Infantry Division Support Command.
Redesignated Dec. 1, 1943, as the 4th Infantry Division Band, the band traveled to Europe with the division and performed in England, France and Germany during World War II. The band’s tour lasted until early 1946 and entitled the band to battle streamers for Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. Upon returning to Camp Butner, North Carolina, the band was deactivated March 12, 1946.
The band was reactivated July 15, 1947, at Fort Ord, California, and traveled toFort Benning, Georgia, before moving to Germany in 1951. The 4th Infantry Division Band stayed in Germany supporting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization from 1951-1956 when it returned to the United States and was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington.
On Nov. 1, 1965, the band was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters, Headquarters Company and Band, 4th Infantry Division Support Command.
In September 1966, the band arrived at the Division Base Camp south of Pleiku, South Vietnam. The band performed military ceremonies and Christmas concerts there as well as various forward areas in the vicinity of Plei Djerong. In addition, the band supported the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, the Pleiku Sub-Area Command (First Logistical Command), I Field Forces Vietnam and the U.S. Air Force units located in the Pleiku area. In 1967, the band provided ceremonial music and musical entertainment for military and civilian audiences in the locations from Ban Me Thuot and Qui Nhon to Chu Lai and Dak To. For its work in Vietnam during the period of Nov. 1, 1967, through Oct. 31, 1968, the band was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation. For its cumulative efforts in Vietnam during the period 1966-1970, the band also earned two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with Palm; a Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation; and battle streamers for Counteroffensive Phase II, Counteroffensive Phase III, Tet Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase IV, Counteroffensive Phase V, Tet 69 Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970, Sanctuary Counteroffensive and Counteroffensive Phase VII.
The band returned to the United States and moved to Fort Carson where it stayed from 1970 to 1995. In 1995, the band moved with the Headquarters, 4th Infantry Division to Fort Hood. During the period of persistent conflict since 2001, the 4th Infantry Division Band has supported Operation Iraqi Freedom three times, resulting in the awarding of three more Meritorious Unit Commendations.
After a 14-year absence, the 4th Infantry Division Band has returned to Fort Carson. Half of the band deployed in support of Operation New Dawn in 2010. The band’s modular approach to deployment allowed it to support USD-North and the Fort Carson and Colorado Springs communities simultaneously.
If interested in requesting the 4th Infantry Division Band, please contact the operations section of the 4th Infantry Division Band at 719-526-5779. You will need to submit your request on a DD2536 and the request should be made 60 days before your event.