Battle of the Bands: Army Music Doctrine

02.27.15 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Updated below

The U.S. Army issued new doctrine this month on the role of music in military operations.

“The mission of Army music is to provide music supporting unified land operations and instill in our forces the will to fight and win, foster the support of our citizens, and promote America’s interests at home and abroad,” the Army doctrine states.

“Army music stands ready to provide flexible, relevant, and targeted music support where civilian entertainers cannot go.”

“Music instruments in the form of horns, trumpets or drums were a part of military strategy dating to ancient times. Archeology gives us stone reliefs from 3,000 years before Christ depicting Assyrians and Babylonians parading brass instruments in military victory. Bands of musical instruments were included in formations throughout the centuries.”

The new Army doctrinal publication “provides key guidance pertaining to the mission, organization, and operation of music performance units (MPUs)” — otherwise known as Army bands. “This manual should serve as a guide for training and operations based on the tenets of music supporting unified land operations.”

See Army Music, ATP 1-19, February 2015.

Update: Relatedly, see Missions, Functions and Tasks of the U.S. Navy Band, OPNAVINST 5450.346A, February 23, 2015.