Air Force

March 30, 2012

Air Force Reserve Pipe Band performs for president

Tags:
Written by: Staff
More articles by »
U.S. Air Force photo / Chief Master Sgt. Mark Burditt
The Band of the Air Force Reserve's pipe band gathers outside the White House March 20, 2012, in Washington, D.C. They performed four missions for President Barack Obama and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. The pipers have performed this mission every year since 1995, Elements of the Reserve band perform an average of 279 missions annually in support of Regular Air Force and Air Force Reserve mission taskings.

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. “” Military bagpipers are a unique sight in Washington, D.C., especially clad in official Air Force tartan kilts and lining the steps of the U.S. Capitol. So unique, in fact, the pipe band of the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve is the only professional pipe band in the Department of Defense. On March 20, they performed four missions for President Barack Obama and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

The pipers have performed this mission every year since 1995, but this year’s performance may be their last due to the scheduled deactivation plan because of the fiscal year 13 budget cuts.

“We did arrival and departure ceremonies for the president, vice president, speaker of the house and the prime minister of Ireland at the U.S. Capitol,” said Maj. Donald Schofield, commander of the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. “We were also asked to perform at the White House for a party in honor of the prime minister of Ireland.”

Chief Master Sgt. Mark Burditt, band manager, said eight reservists and two National Guardsmen from other career fields augmented the Reserve band, which is made of active-duty Airmen.

“These were professional level pipers from around the country who volunteered to augment the pipe band; some of them for their last time,” he said.

Along with Tech. Sgt. Ryan Miles, drum major, Master Sgt. Benny Hill piped the president, the speaker of the house and the Irish prime minister from the Capitol chamber to the Rayburn Room where a luncheon was held.

“It was a very special evening for us because the president and first lady wanted to meet with us,” Schofield said. “They took time with each member, shook their hands, spoke to them and the president said to the entire group, ‘Thank you for the music, but more importantly, thank you for your service to our country.’ We also got to speak with the Speaker of the House John Boehner. He thanked us for our time, and the arrival and departure ceremony.”

The band’s third mission was to play for the arrival of the guest at the carriage entrance of the White House. The last mission of the day was a 12-minute performance for 500 guests inside the White House.

“This was great visibility for Air Force Reserve Command,” Burditt said. “Several congressional staffers, who we worked directly with, and congressmen, who came up and talked to us while we were there, were not aware that the Reserve command had a pipe band.”

The White House requests the pipe band every year. Burditt worked for about two months with the White House and security staffs to formulate the details of the events. This included everything from making sure adequate routes were planned and ensuring the security needs of the Capitol police and Secret Service were met.

“Secret Service and Capitol Police are warm, gracious and understanding,” Schofield said. “They were extremely helpful and very courteous. We had a great time with them.”

The goal of musicians is to connect emotionally with their audiences, and the bagpipers were able to project the Air Force image and the Air Force Reserve image to a worldwide audience, according to Schofield. He said he saw people weeping with emotion at times during the band’s performances.

“From a commander’s perspective, this was an amazing opportunity for the Air Force and Air Force Reserve to get international visibility,” Schofield said. “From a musician’s perspective, it’s a tremendous honor to play for the president, members of congress and international heads of state. It’s an honor to be able to represent the Air Force Reserve through the universal language of music.”

In the few days since the event, the band returned home to Georgia for a performance at Wesleyan College in Macon, and during the 30th Annual Macon Georgia’s International Cherry Blossom Festival. Members of the Reserve band then went back to Washington for multiple performances, including a retirement ceremony and the AFR Senior Leader Conference.

“Life on the road is fast and furious, as we have a nationwide mission,” said Schofield.

The Air Force pipe band is part of the Band of the Air Force Reserve based at Robins AFB, Ga.. Elements of the Reserve band perform an average of 279 missions annually in support of Regular Air Force and Air Force Reserve mission taskings.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell McMillan

Mega-Code 14: Preparing March for joint medical operations

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell McMillan Senior Airman Kerry Diehl-Hauser (left) and Maj. Lorna Figueras, 452nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron, help transfer a simulated patient from an ambulance to a C-17 Globemaster ...
 
 

SAPR: More than an Air Force Acronym

As an Airman and a senior leader in the Air Force Reserve, I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impacts of sexual assault on an Air Force organization. Regardless of your unit or military status, Active or Reserve, no one is immune to these impacts nor absolved of their responsibility to combat the instances of sexual assault...
 
 
Untitled-1

March Baseball Championship

Members of the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing (top) beat a team from the 452nd Air Mobility Wing to win the 2014 March Field baseball championship trophy. The 452 AMW members (bottom) were the base runners-up and league champions.
 

 
HBI-Graphic

Access to Care

Since the TRICARE Prime benefit was first introduced in 1995, the Military Health System has established standards by which we hold ourselves accountable for access to health care. The standards are straightforward. If a patien...
 
 
flu_gov

Flu season just around corner

It’s hard to believe that another year has passed and flu season is just around the corner. Although seasonal flu usually peaks in January or February, it can occur as early as October which means our annual Flu Campaign is r...
 
 

SECAF: Air Force grapples with Congress to fund readiness

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — To balance readiness today and modernization tomorrow, the Air Force’s fiscal year 2015 budget request is shrinking like today’s defense budget thanks to Congress’s own priorities and the approaching threat of sequestration in 2016, Air Force leaders said July 30. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin