FORT MCPHERSON, Ga. -- Supporting Army recruiting is one of the most important missions of the Army Ground Forces Band (AGFB).

One of the best ways to do that is for the band or one of its several ensembles to go on tour to communities where the Army visibility may be low.

"Band tours can go to places where Soldiers are not usually seen, encourage positive and patriotic feelings toward the Army and America and get people to look more closely at the variety of career specialties the Army offers," said Maj. Domingos Robinson, the U.S. Army Forces Command's AGFB commander.

For example, during the final 10 days of January 2009, the AGFB rock band performed 12 times at south- Florida venues, including high schools where audiences ranged from 300 to 700.

"We closely coordinated the tour with the regional recruiting brigade to target under-served markets," said Sgt. Maj. Leander Singletary, AGFB sergeant major, who traveled with the tour. "Recruiters know the band is a valuable resource and understand how to use it as a powerful."

Oftentimes, the band can get in the door more easily than the recruiters who accompany their visits because music can bridge the two cultures of the Army and non-military communities.
The nine-member rock band is especially suited for this sort of mission because of its versatility in reaching younger audiences with rock and roll, R&B, rap, Latino and reggae. It gets the audience members talking and asking questions, and the recruiters are there to provide answers.

"In addition to Army as a whole recruiting, we use tours like this to plant a seed with student musicians and music educators to look at the Army as an opportunity for students to pursue musical careers," added Robinson. "To that end, our musicians on this tour held clinics at some high schools and met with music departments at local colleges."