Pershing's Own receives new command sergeant major
July 21, 2014
By Guv Callahan
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own" has a new command sergeant major - Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel R. Smith was appointed to the position during a change of responsibility ceremony July 14 at Brucker Hall on the Fort Myer portion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own" has a new command sergeant major - Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel R. Smith was appointed to the position during a change of responsibility ceremony July 14 at Brucker Hall on the Fort Myer portion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
Smith succeeds outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Mitchell D. Spray, who held the position since September 2011.
Smith earned a bachelor's degree in music from North Texas University in Denton, Texas, and a Master of Music degree in trumpet performance from the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. Spray attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, graduating with a bachelor's degree in music.
Both Spray and Smith joined "Pershing's Own" in 1992. Spray has been featured as a bass trombone soloist, and Smith played trumpet in a number of the band's different groups.
During his brief remarks at the beginning of the ceremony, Col. Thomas H. Palmatier, leader and commander of The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own," praised both Spray and Smith.
"[Spray] has been the very, very model of what a CSM should be," Palmatier said. "I have made not one decision without consulting him ... Sometimes he got his way, sometimes I got mine ... but by the time we finished our discussions, we always had our way."
Palmatier called Smith "an incredibly gifted trumpeter," recalling the day that Smith auditioned for the band. Smith's most recent position as the band's planning operations and training group leader made him responsible for scheduling the band's numerous events. Palmatier said Smith was the "heartbeat" of its daily operations.
Spray thanked his family, colleagues and commanders during his own remarks, reflecting fondly on the guidance and support Palmatier gave him during his tenure.
"When I would make a misstep, he would gently set me straight," Spray said.
He also thanked the band for sounding so wonderful when he conducted them.
"Those were some of the best moments I've ever had - standing in front of this band, waving a stick, knowing it was going to be great."
Smith was the last to speak, and he also thanked his family and peers and spoke directly to the band.
"'Pershing's Own': I am humbled," he said. "This is an awesome responsibility and opportunity."