OTF Soldier Story for July 5, 2010 - Sgt. Maj. Leslie Nock
Current Unit: The United States Army Field Band
Current Position: Support Group Element Leader
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Fort Meade, Md.
Hometown: Syracuse, N.Y.
Years of Service: 21
Since learning to play the trombone in high school, music has been a cornerstone in Sgt. Maj. Leslie Nock's life and she has been dedicated to using her musical abilities to serve her country for the past 21 years.
“I consider it an honor and privilege to wear the uniform and be a part of an organization dedicated to preserving freedom. The way I do that is through sharing music; it is the international language,” Nock said, “We preserve our traditions, build partnerships and a sense of community at home and abroad.”
During her deployment to Iraq last year with the 1st Calvary Division Band, Nock took her musical experience and leadership to the frontlines. While overseas, Nock was responsible for overseeing a unit of 40 Soldier musicians, accomplishing more than 200 missions in the year-long deployment.
Although not engaged in combat herself, her leadership was nonetheless crucial for maintaining Soldier readiness.
“Morale is one of the most important elements in sustaining forces on the frontlines,” Nock said. “We support the Soldiers that are out there kicking in doors and sending bullets down range. We take a little piece of home to them.”
In addition to performing for Soldiers throughout Iraq, especially those stationed in remote areas, the 1st Calvary Division Band played at local ceremonies and events, striving to create a partnership with the Iraqi Army Band and the Iraqi Symphony Orchestra.
For meritorious service throughout her deployment, Nock was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Despite receiving the prestigious award, she still considers her most rewarding experience as the opportunity to work with the Soldiers in her unit.
“What I walk away with, and what has affected me most as a leader, is the manner in which my Soldiers executed their missions on any given day,” she said. “It was my honor and privilege to serve with them for that year.”
Now stateside, Nock continues to serve in a leadership capacity with The United States Army Field Band stationed at Fort Meade, Md. She manages the band’s support element as part of a team that provides all the logistical and administrative support required for the Army’s premier touring musical representatives.
“As a band, we provide the opportunity to take the Army story to the American people. It’s this true team effort that makes the Field Band one of the finest and most professional musical organizations I have been associated with in my 27 years in the music industry,” she said.
Although eligible to retire, Nock plans to continue to serve with the Field Band for several more years.
“Serving with the Army is a great job, no matter where you are or what you’re doing,” she said. “However, being a part of the band is the best job in the Army. Music is important to our culture and society, and we need to carry that tradition forward.”
Originally from Syracuse, N.Y., she is a graduate of Henninger High School, and has degrees in music from Onondaga Community College and Arizona State University, and in education from Penn State University. Throughout two decades of service in the Army, she has played with several bands, including the 1st Cavalry Division Band, the U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus, the 10th Mountain Division Band, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band, and the 18th and 8th U.S. Army Bands, as well as serving as a Senior Drill Sergeant at the U.S. Army School of Music. She currently lives in the Laurel, Md. area.