By Elizabeth Behring (AMC)May 23, 2018
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Time to face the music. As the Army Materiel Command Band prepares to officially deactivate Sept. 1, the North Alabama community has the opportunity to see their final performances in June.
The AMC Band's last two concerts are scheduled during the Huntsville/Madison County Armed Forces Celebration Week. It will perform June 25 during Concert in the Park in Huntsville's Big Spring Park, and a farewell concert is planned June 26 at Bob Jones High School in Madison.
"We really enjoy performing in the Tennessee Valley and hearing various stories and feedback from the community. The band has been there to support so many events and functions over the years, and these last two shows are really our 'thank you' to the community," AMC Band Commander Chief Warrant Officer 4 James Bettencourt said.
While the restructure cut 179 band positions Armywide, Bettencourt said all AMC Band Soldiers are headed to either new band positions at places like Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Camp Zama, Japan, are retiring or are at the end of their contracts. A couple others will become recruiters or have decided to re-class.
"People are a top priority, and the Army and AMC remain committed to these Soldiers through the transition process," Bettencourt said.
As the drawdown nears, there are about 24 band personnel remaining at Redstone Arsenal, Bettencourt said. Of those, some are on routine travel or leave, bringing the everyday numbers to roughly 18 or so.
A "right-sized" band should be roughly 42 band members, Bettencourt said.
With the reduction of troops, it's simply no longer possible to support additional events. The band's last official musical support, which typically includes change of command ceremonies and retirements, was May 1.
To request future support from other bands, visit the U.S. Army Music website at www.music.army.mil/ or contact regional bands like the ones at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, or Fort Benning, Georgia.