REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - After a busy week of shows culminating in a packed final performance at Bob Jones High School in Madison, the U.S. Army Materiel Command Band cased its colors marking its official inactivation here June 29.
Every Army unit has a unique flag that represents the command. Casing the colors is the term used when the unit is deactivated and the flag is rolled up.
"We can case the colors, but your legacy will remain," said U.S. Army Materiel Command deputy chief of staff Maj. Gen. Allan Elliott.
Since relocating to Redstone Arsenal from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, in 2011, the AMC band has performed more than 2,700 times, at more than 60 locations around the world in support of the AMC enterprise, the Redstone Arsenal Garrison, and military and civilian functions.
"Your legacy will live on in the memories and hearts of everyone who has been touched by the sounds and feelings that made the 389th Army Band one of the best in the country," said Elliott.
In January 1944, the 389th Army Band was formed in Monmouth, New Jersey, and inherited its equipment and Soldiers from the Signal Corps. In August of 2006 the 389th band was designated the U.S. Army Materiel Command Band.
"Inactivating a unit, especially one with such a storied history, is never an easy thing to do," said the 389th Army Band Commander, Chief Warrant Officer 4 James Bettencourt. "Though we are sad to inactivate, we are glad to have had the experience."
During its time at Redstone Arsenal, the AMC Band had three commanders, CW4 Peter Gillies 2010-2013, CW4 Jesse Pasqua 2013-2015, and CW4 James Bettencourt 2015-2018.
Bettencourt will go on to command the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) International Band in Casteau, Belgium.
Over the last eight months, the normally 40-plus Soldier formation has dwindled to half that number as members have either received orders to augment other Army bands or entered different careers, both in and out of the military.
While ceremonially inactivated, AMC Band Soldiers continue their transition out with the last Soldier expected to leave by Sept. 1.