MOS 42C—Army Bands Officer

Band (MOS 42C) Description / Major Duties:

Music offers exciting careers in the Army with significant opportunities for advancement. Every year, the Army Band program selects one or two highly qualified individuals via competitive auditions to serve as Army Bands Officers. These Officers rotate through a variety of positions: associate conductor (executive officer), administrator and instructor at the Armed Forces School of Music. After several years of experience, they may also serve as commander and principle conductor of an Army band.


Band Officer training includes completion of the Officer Basic Course (OBC), where you will learn leadership skills used in leading and managing an Army Band.

Helpful Skills

Being a leader in the Army requires certain qualities. A leader exhibits self-discipline, initiative, confidence and intelligence. They are physically fit and can perform under physical and mental pressures. Leaders make decisions quickly, always focusing on completing the mission successfully, and show respect for their subordinates and other military officers. Leaders lead from the front and adjust to environments that are always changing. They are judged by their ability to make decisions on their own and bear ultimate moral responsibility for those decisions.

Helpful attributes include:

Masters degree in music
Professional conducting or teaching experience
Superior skills as a conductor
Strong musical and military leadership
Management skills

Advanced Responsibilities for MOS 42C Army Bands Officer:

Army Band Officers are also known as Bandmasters, indicating their broad responsibilities as band "CEOs". Beyond programming, preparing and performing music, they must fulfill many administrative and logistical functions. Whether marching in support of a military parade, providing chamber music for community events and educational institutions, or performing in concert halls, Army bands offer an exciting and fulfilling opportunity to work with outstanding musicians in service to our country.

Related Civilian Jobs

An Army Bands Officer is the equivalent of a civilian conductor, bandleader or musical director.

Article Last Modified: February 20, 2011

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