Episode 128

Justin Holroyd: How to become a Marine Corps Musician!

Justin Holroyd served 14 years in the USMC before an unknown medical condition prompted an unexpected early retirement. Justin had to get a pacemaker installed.  Justin played in and was project manager for the USMC Fleet Band where he played the trombone.  Justin has played music for KIngs and Queens, Presidents, and has traveled the world building strong relationships between the United States and Foreign Countries.

Justin oversaw over 500+ productions during his active-duty time, managing multi-million dollar productions.  He recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Communications and Project Management.

https://www.marines.com/about-the-marine-corps/roles/musician-enlistment-option-program.html

https://www.linkedin.com/in/justin-holroyd/

Mentioned in this episode:

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Transcript
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Welcome to the business samurai podcast.

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I'm your host.

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John Barker with me is my good friend, Justin Holroyd.

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Justin served 14 years in the United States Marine Corps before an

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unknown medical condition prompted an unexpected early retirement that

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required Justin to get a pacemaker.

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Justin was in the fleet.

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Marine band was just a musician and listed options program.

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Mia, as if you don't realize it, Marines, love their acronyms.

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Justin played the trombone.

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He oversaw 500 military members during his active duty time where he played in 2020.

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21 different countries with Kings and Queens and presidents managing

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multi-million dollar productions.

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He recently graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business administration

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communications and project management is currently pursuing his master's

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degree in similar studies, Justin at for as many people, including my own

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family members, father, grandfather.

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Aunts, uncles that have been in the Marines, Justin, as the first one that I

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know that has had a background in music.

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So I thought that would be an interesting take for our, for people looking for

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a different side of the the military.

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So Justin appreciate taking the time to be here.

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Happy to be here, man.

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Thanks for having me.

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And just for anyone listening, I actually got this messed up.

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This was actually my second intro because I didn't realize there was like two

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different sides of the Marine Corps.

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You got the Marine Corps band and then you have this me op enlisted program.

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And so we had to go do some changes here on the fly.

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So thanks for getting corrected.

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And it, again, having been around the Marines for 40 some odd years and

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worked with many, I didn't realize there was extra two different programs.

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We'll get into that here in a little bit, but so give us a little background.

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Have you always, did you always play instruments and know you were going to

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go into the Marine Corps doing that?

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Can you give us a little backstory on your entry into music?

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Cause that's, to me, like I said, that's not common for what I know.

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Yeah.

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I had been around music my whole life, both my parents were music teachers.

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My dad taught high school band for almost 30 years and was instilled

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as involved in music education now.

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It's administrator at level now.

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But he, so music was always a part of my life.

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I knew I was going to be in the band in high school.

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I knew I was going to play an instrument.

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And so I started playing trombone and when I was probably nine or 10 and had

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been playing it every sense, I never thought I'd be in the Marine Corps.

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In fact, I had already a music scholarship for tuition.

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My tuition covered to go to the university of Wyoming to major in.

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When they call them musical technical assistance, their music guys in my program

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on recruiter duty that help out the recruiting districts in auditioning people

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that might be interested in the band.

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And there was a guy that showed up at my school and I'll never forget this.

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He showed up at my school.

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He was trying to get people to audition.

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I wasn't interested in, he was like you probably wouldn't make it any.

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And so I completely fell for that hook line and sinker, my horn wasn't even at

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school that day, but I drove home, got it.

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And came back.

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So I'm seeing her in high school and auditioned with the intention

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of just saying, I'm going to make it, and then I wasn't going to

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go, but then I didn't make it.

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And and I, after some time thinking about it, I ended up

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deciding to go and it was the.

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Hands-down the best decision.

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I think I may have ever made next to Mary and Laura.

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But I would have met, I've never met her without joining us in a great course.

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So it was, we knew going in, you were going to meet in, in the band.

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You weren't going to be doing the music.

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It doesn't happen like that for everybody.

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But I did, I auditioned and had made the audition before I even went to

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maps or talk really seriously, talk to a recruiter or any of those things.

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Sometimes it doesn't work like that.

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Sometimes you go, yeah.

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The recruiter figures out that you play an instrument and then

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brings that guy into audition.

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And then you switch gears, switch paths, but I'm had made and pass the audition

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before I even got serious about enlisting.

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Now, did you have a normal bootcamp experience?

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Was it 12, 12 weeks long?

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Did you have a accomplice June or?

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I was in west coast.

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I went to San Diego for bootcamp and for MCT.

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And that's, you're talking about the two different sides of the.

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Read music world.

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That's the big one.

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The president's zone is a fantastic, phenomenal organization.

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That is some of the world's best musicians in that group, but they

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do not go to bootcamp and the fleet music program or the Mia.

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Everybody goes to bootcamp.

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Everybody goes to combat training school.

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And you're respected, especially back in oh three through oh seven, there

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were Marine band guys deploying and sitting right next to I've got a

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story of my first section leader, has some accolades and awards for being

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a machine gunner on top of a tank, so it's that sort of a difference?

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I didn't know.

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Fortunately, I never had to do that.

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I got close a couple of times, but I didn't have to, but that's one of the

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big differences is that the president's zone is not going to deploy in that

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capacity where everybody in the me up that is something that could have.

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Okay.

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Yeah.

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So I want to just clarify that for, I think for a lot of us, and again,

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this is the mistake I made when I did the first version of the intro was

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thinking you've got the Marine Corps band, and it's referred to as the

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president's own, it was founded in 1798.

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They're the largest, the oldest America's oldest Marine professional

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organizational music organization that there is in the United States.

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Yours is a, and I thought yours was like a, just a subset of that, but

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there are two distinct entities that, that people, our, they get recruited

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into one versus into the other.

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Yeah.

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That is Prozac.

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Yeah.

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Okay.

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So how so you're going in, you're going through normal bootcamp.

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So you're, shooting and stuff like that.

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How do you divide the time up between maintaining comp?

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I combat readiness versus being able to go out and play events.

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How does that time, how do you, how does your days, weeks

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training look like with that?

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Yeah, that's, that is a huge challenge.

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We'll always for the program is cause there's two different things

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that you really got to hone.

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Music is a skill, you gotta spend a lot of time developing.

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And those things on the Marine Corps side are similar.

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And so that's why a lot of musicians, once they get into the program, once they

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get into the record, they ended up, they end up being pretty successful because.

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The the thought process of, having to spend a lot of time developing and

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working and putting in on a skill.

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It sounds two worlds that don't mesh, but they've, and to me, it's

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absolutely, there, there are two opposite ends of the spectrum to me.

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There is some of it, there's definitely some in the music world

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that would not, you know, that it doesn't mesh with, but if you.

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If you have a little bit of crazy in you.

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Cause I think anybody who joins the Marine Corps has got a

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little bit of crazy in them.

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If you got a little bit of it and you can really, it can be a very successful thing.

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And it was a very successful career for me, as far as like your day to

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day, if you break that out and there's times of the year that the band would

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block out focus solely on rain, core training, Marine Corps, size of.

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And there's different.

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There's different philosophies about how to do that.

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There are, I was at, I were at, I was at bands where we would try to do a

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little bit of that every single day.

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I was at bands where we did focus more on seasons.

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This season.

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We will, we'll focus on music hard and heavy because we have

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these commitments coming up.

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We don't have commitments coming up these next few nights.

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So we switched gears and focus on Marine Corps training stuff.

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But the way that enlisted Marine Corps program in general, not necessarily for

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just the music world, but for all that.

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Marine Corps.

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You can't just focus on one thing, even if it's music, if it's all over

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T if it's admin, cyber stuff, whatever you're doing to get promoted and to be

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successful in America, you got to have the Marine Corps training buttons checked

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or boxes checked, so they didn't, it's not it's not lip service that once a

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Marine always, or every Marine rifle.

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Every, that is a philosophy that, that trickles down to every

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occupational field and the pro.

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Yeah.

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Okay.

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I was going to say, cause I remember growing up, seeing my dad saying,

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all of the marksmanship badges that he would have those times, he would

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have to put that stuff on his uniform, which I don't recall that being

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very frequent, but there were times.

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Yeah.

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Now you mentioned bans oral.

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So how was the structure set up?

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It's, I mean like the visions were there, like how many events did they run?

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That type of stuff.

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Events that they ran this.

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Tun.

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There are 10 different Marine Corps fleet bands.

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There's one in Japan, one in Hawaii, several in Southern California.

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And then a couple on the Carolinas and one in Virginia.

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So there's one at each division right now.

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And there's one at each level.

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Is that right?

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Let me think about that.

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There Okinawa San Diego Miramar.

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Penelton Hawaii, new Orleans Quantico the other in San Diego,

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like the Depot and then cherry point, North Carolina and Campbell June.

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So that there's your.

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Okay.

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But then, but you would get deployed all across the world then

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to place it's a different bit.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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I spend a lot of my time at the Y, which was awesome.

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And we got to, I went all over Asia to do different performances.

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I did a, they did a tour of New Zealand, a couple of times to

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stretches out there once for the rugby world cup, which was a lot of fun.

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And then we did.

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Three week tour in New Zealand, where we were commemorating the 50th anniversary

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of Marines landing in New Zealand and staging there before they embarked on the

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island hopping campaign and able to, so it's a, it's an interesting gig for sure.

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You can't, you learn a lot about, that you're immersed in recorded history and

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Marine Corps tradition, because that's a big part of the job is, educating.

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The public on those sorts of things, like those events where you're

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celebrating anniversaries of battles, I was in Guadalcanal celebrating

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the 70th anniversary of that battle.

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Yeah.

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So there's a lot of, it depends on which band you are.

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So you have a white man which did a lot of outside the country stuff, but

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then the bands that are inside the country, they do, they travel around.

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They're doing a lot of performances for small town America, The Steve's

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fairy shrimp festival and cherry point.

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So you get things.

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So is there like a tiered system in there where somebody starts out,

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you're doing the small town stuff, and then as you either get tenure

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within the Marine Corps, skillset ranking, like chairs, that's my extent.

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That's the extent of my knowledge of music is.

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The chairs and an orchestra, but that you would get there and

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go, okay, you're at a skill set.

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That's enough to go travel the world to go do this, versus, you're coming and

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playing in my backyard at a wedding.

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Yeah.

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That's an interesting, that's an interesting idea, but it

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doesn't quite work like that.

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It works the same way is any Marine Corps plane gets transferred, You go really?

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Okay.

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You go to where you're supposed to go.

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And every band has a little bit of a different mission, based on the geography

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that they're at, but you rotate every three years, typically three to four

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years, unless you're like me, you get stuck at Hawaii for awhile, but

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that's not a horrible sounds horrible.

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Yeah.

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Now D w with that.

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Did you coordinated a lot of the events though, right?

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You weren't just showing up and saying, all right, I got to

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play at seven o'clock at night.

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If I recall correctly in our previous conversations, you were actually in

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the lead on making these things happen.

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What was the complexity of that with making these projects which

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quite frankly are a little micro.

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Major projects potentially go off.

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Yeah.

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You don't start off like that.

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Obviously it's something you work that is something you work up to, you know what

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you do start off as just an individual contributor musician showing up with their

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horn and the writing uniform and playing.

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But then as you get promoted and you pick up rank and you move up, then you

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do move into more manager type roles.

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And when I got, when I left, I was doing I was running anything

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that didn't require the whole.

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I was putting together the people and the music and the logistics for that group.

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So you have a band, the bands are usually 50.

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50 members, ish.

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But not every event would, can either facilitate having 50 people

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at it or needs 50 people at it.

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So you have, funerals that only need one trumpet player to go to play taps.

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And then you have, then you might get a situation.

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Like one of my last gigs ever was, Hey, we, the generalist got

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a space on his plane for, 5:00 PM.

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And we want music can, what music can you make with five people?

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And so you pick out, you figure out what the requirements are and what's,

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what kind of events these people are going to be asked to play at.

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Then you put together a group that can handle that.

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And then you work at sometimes that would being rearranging music.

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Cause there's not.

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Th there's some of that stuff that isn't written for that specific group.

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So you've got to rearrange that.

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I did a little bit of that and had unfortunately had a lot of great

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friends and people that worked with me that helped me out a lot on that too.

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And then you put together a mini group and then you go out and

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do the event, did performance.

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And that was my.

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That was what I was doing when I left.

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And it's special projects that are our small ensemble leader would

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be the nut would be the, like the official Marine Corps, MOS title

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for it, small ensemble leader.

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And there's only a handful of people that do that with fire Marine Corps.

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There's maybe 10 to 15 guys in the 200,000 plus that they get to do that.

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So it was a really cool.

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Privileged that I got to do that.

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So how do you decide or who makes a request in or who decides.

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Hey, here's the events that we're going to play.

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How does that get probably wore ties and you guys get deployed

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out to wherever you gotta go.

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Just an, in any military function, sometimes it's as simple as a guy with

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a lot of ranks as the band's going to go do this, and then they got to do it.

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That makes sense.

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There are, there is structures in place and there's, there is there's a little

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bit of a there's processes involved.

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What we're allowed to perform at what we're not about format.

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And there is a hierarchy inside the program.

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We have Marine musicians, you're enlisted musicians at the Pentagon and,

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they, overseeing the program there.

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And so there's a little bit of a structured hierarchy.

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There's a request process.

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You send a request form in, you can send it to the Pentagon and you can

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send it to the individual bands.

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And then it's got to get vetted.

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Legal and of course the band's going to vet it, can we do this?

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Do we want to do this?

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And then there's a, an approval process that kind of works its way up the chain

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of command, just like everything else.

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What about you, we talked about off the top.

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You played in a bunch of different countries for Kings and Queens and

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other presidents of other countries.

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Is there a different etiquette or protocol that you guys get briefed on when

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you're going into an environment like.

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Versus I remember, I think in middle school, the Marine Corps, bang,

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coming to my middle school and playing a bunch of things, there's

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gotta be something different.

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Do you have any stories around there?

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Yeah, we were one of, I had a group and I was a part of a group in

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2011 that I think this is accurate was one of the first openly.

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U S military presence in China and sometime, so we did some performances

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in Shanghai and Beijing and which was which was a cool ship, to get to do that.

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And yeah, absolutely.

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The there's way different protocols and things involved for guys

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going to China than there is guys go into the middle school down.

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Oh that, that particular thing I believe.

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Even all the way up to the commandant of the wrinkle at the time was at least aware

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that we were doing that and had an opinion on us being there in China at the time.

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And we were going, it was completely, a community relations event we played for.

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We played for a high school, like the equivalent, like a high school

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marching band festival we played at, we were the end of the night

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key performers for that event.

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Then we played.

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Some of the concerts spread schools in the area, community events there.

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That was a big trip.

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We did everything in there between marching band and concert band.

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And that's a lot of logistics of shipping instruments across the world.

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And cause you can't check, a Tiffany I'm in there on an airplane.

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So that lots of travel logistics and craziness involved in that.

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So yeah, there is a difference.

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Reocurrency there of those, between those two things, but that's an

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example of the spectrum of what you do.

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It could be middle school, music appreciation day.

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And you're going to play, the hokey pokey and sponge got the thing from

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SpongeBob all the way up to, something like pretty serious like that.

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Where were the China trip or the New Zealand trip where there's protocol,

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like kind of New Zealand trip there's protocol involved in how you play for

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the prime minister of New Zealand.

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And you've got to learn their Anthem and how they do it.

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And that sort of thing.

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So that, I guess that begs an interesting question.

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You think about China now.

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I am a constant there and try to project, 10, 11 years ago about.

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What you're allowed to play in an environment like that, communist,

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cause right now they censor everything that comes through the United States.

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What was it?

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Did you have to go through this crazy music selection process that

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you go, oh my God, we don't want to offend, you're the host country or in

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China, something that is absolutely like they may take offense to just.

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For whatever reason that they may have.

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Was that something that, how much did that go into your, like your

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planning and then practice and prep?

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We didn't necessarily, we censored the music per se.

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We played, we did choose on that form.

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It's a lot of pretty universal.

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Known in the music world, at least selections, these like some classical

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music stuff, like the horse planets suite, which if, even if you don't know the title

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of that work, you recognize melodies.

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If you heard it those sorts of things.

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So we stuck through stuck to.

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Stuff that was pretty well known and accepted in the music world per se.

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But that's definitely something you got to consider when you go into

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those other countries and is what music do people like and even if

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it's not from an offense standpoint, you don't want to play anything

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that anybody doesn't want to hear.

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So when we would go into countries, we would look and try to figure

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out what's popular here right now.

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And how can we make sure.

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No, we want to play stuff that people know.

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Yeah, I guess this, and this is me just thinking out, when I've went to

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like musicals in New York or you see a band in concert or something like

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that, for the most part, they're playing the same sets over and over again.

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They're very well-rehearsed in that.

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And it sounds like to me, That you have to be, I'm not saying

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that others can't do that.

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Those guys can't do this, but you've got to be skilled to

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sit there and go, all right.

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We've only got maybe a short window to learn a whole bunch of new

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stuff because of this environment.

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So is that is that like an increased skillset on your guys' part because

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that's what you're doing or is it from musicals perspective?

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We learned this enough to get through this event type situation.

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And then you go, all right, we're never going to do that one again.

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There's and I'm biased obviously, but I do think it takes a special

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skill set to do the, what the Marine Corps music program asks you to do.

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But there, there is a lot of that.

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So there's both, or you all all three of what you've said,

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there is music you have to do.

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All the time and be ready to do again and again, over and over with, from a

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ceremony standpoint, the Marine Corps hasn't changed the music they use

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in a ceremony in a hundred severes.

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So you're using, you're playing the same.

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Music for those ceremonies every time you do it.

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So you memorize those songs and you just have them ready to

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go whenever you need to do it.

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And then there are then there's like we talked about you're

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traveling to a different country.

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And when when I'm going to remember that tune a Gangnam style.

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Yes.

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But there was a time in Asia and even in Samoa, we were on.

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Some things in America smell and that song was crazy popular.

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So I think you just gave me my YouTube concern.

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So we we learned that song and then, but you recognize at the time, Hey,

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this is a one hit wonder, it's going to be popular for three or four months.

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So we're going to learn it so we can play it now.

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So it's popular, but then it's been, it'll go away and we won't play it anymore.

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And then there's stuff, specifically when you're learning

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it, that you're only playing.

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For this one performance and you're never gonna, you're never gonna play it again.

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That's some of 'em there's in Tonga.

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I did a gig for the coronation of the king of Tonga and for his

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birthday there's a big festival, the king of Tonga, and there was.

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Songs there that they marched to, that they use for their ceremonies

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that we learned that we knew we were only playing for, for that game.

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We're not going to go home and play those all the time.

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How much time do you get to learn?

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How much lead time do you get to go?

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We got to, we get to learn this.

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It depends most of the time, especially with stuff like international travel that.

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It's it can happen on a whim and has, but for most of that, you get

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a pretty good leeway a couple of months, that you're going on this

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thing and we're going to perform these songs and that sort of thing.

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So you get a little bit, yeah.

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Yeah, and that's where my ignorance comes into of music and being able to

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read music, going, can anybody just put a sheet of music down and you can just

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pick up your trombone and just go with it, or is there all that practice with

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everyone else to get the timing down?

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So it sounds coherent.

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There's a lot there's a little bit of both.

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Most of my form, w would be rare that we pulled out something that

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we had never seen before to play right then there on the side.

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That would not, that doesn't happen very often.

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You, if you have that ability, working on that ability really

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makes you prepared to, do what you know, to play well into sound good.

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If you can do that, but that would be a rare.

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That we were sight reading something on the spot and went to

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the format for it can't happen.

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It could happen, but it could happen interesting because everybody sweat.

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I'm sure everybody sweat bullets a little bit on something like that.

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Maybe.

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I don't know.

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But sometimes stuff happens.

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What was probably the best event that you call back and go, that was either cool.

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Or we nailed it, from your time.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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I often and I tell this story a lot when I've had, I've told them

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a lot in job interviews recently, when they talked about like a

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moment you're proud of or something.

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And we did on a smaller group strip.

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It was maybe only about 10 people in a group that we called.

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We called it a couple of different things over the years.

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At one point in time, it was called party van, and then we changed it

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to call it brass band, but it's a smaller group that plays mostly

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popular music, commercial stuff.

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Jazz not is.

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Or the ceremonial type group, which I enjoyed and was my favorite group to plan.

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But we once did a, we were doing some work for the Cambodia, for the American embassy

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in Cambodia, and they had this they had an orphanage there that was for blind

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and deaf kids that they asked us to play.

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And we were a little hesitant because it's music.

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So there's going to be it's music and it's visual music.

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This was a group like a James Brown band or earth wind fire tower

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power, where there's choreography and you're moving around.

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You standing there's there, it's a very interactive and

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visual element to it as well.

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So we were half the people aren't half the kids.

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Aren't gonna be able to hear us and half the kids, aren't gonna able to see it.

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We were a little hesitant about it, but I could imagine was hands down the best

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forums I was ever a part of the kids, the staff, everybody was just so Fidel.

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They don't get a lot of people that show up and to this place to help

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them out and do these types of things.

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We were, I'm positive some of the only Americans that those kids were

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ever going to see and being able to.

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Leave them with a positive impression of the country and of music and

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expose them to some things that they wouldn't be exposed to.

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That was awesome.

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There were some cool games, like I said, prime minister of New Zealand.

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I've played for Biden a couple of times.

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Th those types of things, that's cool that you can say that to did that, but

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really that gig I've walked away from that, knowing that like I made an impact.

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Those gets awesome.

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And those moments, I had a kid hold my trombone and I could see was he was

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blind and he was running his hands down.

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And I could see him forming the image of what am I look like.

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That's awesome in his head.

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And so that was a really special, awesome thing.

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No, that's.

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That's awesome story.

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How about Mo do the flip side of it?

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Did you ever have that event where you're like, oh my God, we survived this.

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Yeah.

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There's definitely it's a joke sometimes where, we're getting ready

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to go on and the guy leading the group might come out and say, guys, there

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are literally tens of people out.

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And I know that every gig you show up to just gonna have,

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gonna have a huge audience.

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We did a, I did a gig on the 4th of July.

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One time with this was with my, this has become a kind of a special game.

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Cause it's one of the last times I performed with my friend from last

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summer that I know, you know about, we don't even get to do, but he,

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that, that was in Virginia Beach on the beach, 4th of July at night,

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fireworks, thousands of people out there.

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That was that was another really special, really cool gig.

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But not every games like that.

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There are gigs that are tens of people and there are I, and so there's,

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so I think there's two elements.

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When you think about things you just survive.

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So those gigs that are just like not super well attended, and maybe you

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worked a lot to work up to that point.

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It doesn't really go off the way you wanted it to.

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But the other part is.

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Can you talk about that gig and Tonga?

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There was a ceremony before in the daytime before the nighttime

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concert performance thing.

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And it's hot.

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It's like you're on the, equators like real feel of 1, 1 15, 1 20,

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and you're in uniform, standing at attention and it's long.

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And so there's, those are some of the things that I think about just survive.

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And when you're just standing there for a couple hours, you play some

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stuff in between some speeches.

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And, so there's some of those that, you miss a lot of things,

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but you don't miss everything.

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So one of the things you had that medical condition that got diagnosed

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to UN unceremoniously prompted an early retirement, is that if you had been

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in I'll call it the other, the Marine Corps band, would that have affected

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your performance versus being in a.

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Yeah, the enlisted program, I don't know.

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Every request has to be every Marine in the fleet has to be in the regular Marine

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Corps has to be deployable all the time.

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So if you're not deployable, then that's when you get into situations where

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you're asked to leave or medically retired, those sorts of things.

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So that's, that was my situation.

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The pacemaker made me nondeployable doctors put on some paperwork, it's

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not recommended that you'd be deployed.

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Osteo locations or whatever.

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So that made me not employable and prompted the exit.

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I don't honestly know if that would have been the case.

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Had it.

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And I was just curious, you got someone who's been in and as long as you were

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I may have mentioned this to you when, again, when the first times you, me and

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you had talked about that going there had to have been something, to an exception,

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to the deployable rule, because there's so many jobs that need to be done and

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you already showed competency in the deployment, the gathering of all that

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stuff, and being an advocate because that's something we didn't talk about.

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Quite frankly, what is.

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Why does the Marine have all of these bands out there when you think of them as

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a combat fighting force around the world?

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Is this just strictly to promote the Marines is or do they have something

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else in their mission statement that they're trying to advance?

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Every band has to secondary combat related mission statement to it.

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So the Quantico band close to last year there at the time I was in there,

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their secondary mission statement was to be a security augmentation force.

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So just.

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Back up a military police unit.

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So with things, things happen, you could send the full-time and NPS to, take

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care of what, an emergency or a crisis.

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And then you can have some reinforcements from the band

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coming in to help out supplements.

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So every band is supposed to has that like secondary combat thing, but where the band

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really, I think this is just me talking from my experience where the band really

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has a lot of value is international travel and relations relationship building.

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We, I did some gigs and Vietnam that ended with me like spending time with

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Vietnamese army officials and, drinking a beer with them and stuff like that.

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So that's the, it's hard to put value.

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It's hard to put like a a quantifiable metric to that, but that's really

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where there's a lot of value in, in the Marine Corps music program is just

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having There's a different impression.

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Let's say we're doing a gig in the Philippines, or we're

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doing a gig somewhere around Asia, around, around China.

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There's different impressions.

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Seeing a guy show up with a gun versus a guy show up with a trombone.

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There's some civilian equity in places that we want to be our allies

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that have, that can be built on.

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With, through music and through real musicians being out there.

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And it's not just the record, Rick has got 10 fleet Marine, pro music, pro

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bands but the army, every service has an army Navy air force and coast guard.

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They all have bands in some sort of fashion.

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In fact, the army with a similar mission.

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Yeah.

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An army and the army.

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Like hundred.

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I'm not sure how big they are now, but somehow somebody could look that

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up, but there are a lot of the, it's a kind of, it's a little known secret.

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The military employees, a ton of musicians.

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I was going to say, because when I think of military bands, the first one

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has always been the Marine Corps band.

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This seems to me to be the one that's out front.

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If you told me the coast guard had one, that was news to me.

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I didn't know that.

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What about other countries?

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Did you guys go out if, when you were traveling the world, do other

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countries have similar bands?

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Did you ever do battle of the bands situation?

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Absolutely.

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There's that conga cake I was talking.

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That was at an international event where multiple countries

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bands were a part of that.

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And just down the road here in Virginia Beach Norfolk area, there's a huge,

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it's called a Virginia international too, or Virginia international tattoo,

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which is a huge military music festival.

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So there's Republic of Korea, musicians, rock lanes that come and perform at that.

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There's a whole section.

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The British Royal Marines music that comes in forms of that it's

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there are all over the world.

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And I met in Tonga.

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I formed at the Australian musician, army bands and in New Zealand, same

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thing with the New Zealand sports fans.

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That's awesome.

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Very cool.

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Yeah.

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I didn't know how much that was prevalent in other places.

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As far as, you guys being, again, not necessarily not, that non-combat

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role to try to build other stronger bonds with other people.

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Like you said, having that beer, being able to go yeah.

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Intertwined the bands together, that type of thing.

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Yeah, no, that's awesome.

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Now post, because I know yours was again, an unexpected retirement

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for the medical conditions.

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What is, if you had that additional, that traditional retirement period

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where you're going, Hey, I know I'm getting out in a year from now.

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What is our typical post-military career for the musician?

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You said you've seen others go into assuming they have that ramp up time

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and that type of thing, that kind of sets them up for a secondary career.

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So I think that's definitely one of the bigger challenges is that there

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really isn't that what we do inside their day to day, this doesn't exist

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in the civilian world, but it's not large civilian organizations that are

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gonna play you pay, a decent salary plus benefits and only, and have you almost.

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Not nine to five, the is differently, but, have you sure you too, and

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musicians are gig based, more often than not in a civilian world and

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it's rare to get a job like that.

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So there's not, especially if you want to just play, there's

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not jobs you walk into just as a.

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There's, I think there's skills that transfer, different types

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of roles, manager type roles.

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I see a lot of my guys doing project management, that sort of thing.

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And there's also a lot of them that kind of move into cyber, moving tech.

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There's some skills there, but it, I asked that it's because, that, I will

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say particularly with the pilots.

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There's a lot of the guys that retire, there were pilots of some

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sort that do transition to an airline career or something along

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that line, because you have been trained in one of the most rigorous

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environments on the face of the earth.

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You can go handle a commercial job, in that realm that I w I

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didn't know when it comes to.

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Movies, TVs, and all these places, everything, even advanced YouTubers now

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use, you have music background, that there's going to be a burgeoning field

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for somebody that's military trains.

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That's had all the time put in, and it's taken some time to figure

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out how to communicate that for me.

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And it's a different, transport, transferable skills, definitely

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something that, I hope, we're talking about my master's degree.

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One of the things I'm hoping to do with that as two.

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Oh, the Marines eventually volunteer other Marines and help them figure out

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how to talk to, how their skills transfer and how they can, talk about, bringing

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value in a different organization after being used to doing things

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the same way for especially Marines that have been in there for awhile.

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No.

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I was going to say that I'm seeing that as something that's in the job market

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as a whole where you've got people that, that are writing these position

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descriptions that are extremely stovepipe.

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We want a project manager that can sit there and organize, identify

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risks, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

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But if you don't want.

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This exact piece of software that you've been doing it this way for, 10

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years, then you don't fit the criteria.

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And it's hold on a second.

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If I can do 90% of the job, you're telling me that I can't figure out your stupid

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little piece of software very quickly.

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And I see that being as a whole.

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So being able to.

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Help breakthrough that's going to be something going forward,

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particularly now with kind of the this employment Renaissance period

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we appear to be in right now.

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For sure.

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So I'll wrap up, I'll wrap up with this.

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Do you still play as often as I'd like to, but I haven't.

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I sit out, have it sit out here so that I can.

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It was almost the reason, Hey, I recognized it.

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No, I didn't know with transitioning into your, your new account manager

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role, what time recording this?

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You're getting ready to start working for central here in the

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next a week and a half or so.

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You know how often you actually break it out and apply.

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I know you did with your father's a retirement ceremony

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last year, which was very cool.

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One of the cool things about it.

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Although I don't play as often as I would like to, is it switches back

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to being a hobby and being something you do as a stress reliever or, as

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opposed to when it was like my, a requirement for the gig or whatever.

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So I tried to play as much as I can, but it doesn't happen as

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near, as often as it used to.

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Do you encourage your kids to get in Tevye, Cartia cares to getting into

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music then because it's in your lineage.

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Yeah, and I think it's just, I think it's something that you can do forever.

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I encourage you to play sports and music and all that stuff, or to do it, to be

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active in all that extracurricular way.

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But music is one of the things you can really do for a long time.

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Eventually your body's going to wear out.

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You're not going to be as public, but you can play music for a long time.

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Just do the choir there.

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That's awesome.

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If anybody wants to reach out, they get curious, get anybody that's interested in.

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Join the military ban.

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I think this is a definitely a unique career opportunity for any way that the

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place what's the best way for anybody to connect with you if they want,

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would like to email or cell is fine.

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You got both of those.

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And I'll put a, I'll put your LinkedIn account info in the show notes as well.

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And man, appreciate the time.

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Absolutely.

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John.

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Thanks a lot, man.

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Cool.

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See you later.

About the Podcast

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The Business Samurai
Skills and Stories to be a Well-Rounded Leader in Business

About your host

Profile picture for John Barker

John Barker

20+ years of technology, cybersecurity, and project management experience. Improving business operations to create a culture of better cybersecurity and technology practices. John is the Founder of Barker Management Consulting and the creator of the Business Samurai Program.

MBA, PMP, CISSP