By U.S. ArmyAugust 21, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 12, 2012) -- The Army has announced the 2013 Drum Major for the All-American Bowl's Marching Band, and his name is Tommy Militello.
Maj. Gen. Jefforey Smith, commander of U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, announced Militello's selection at Drum Corp International's (DCI) national drum and bugle corps competition here on Saturday, Aug. 11.
Drum Corp International (DCI) is a non-profit, global youth activity with far-reaching artistic, educational, and organizational influence. Through its annual tour and band championships in 17 North American cities, DCI provides entertainment to millions through live performances and nationally-televised events. The DCI World Championship is the culmination of the annual DCI International Tour.
Smith traveled to the event at Lucas Oil Stadium to promote Militello, a Thousand Oaks, Calif., native, and to also meet with DCI leaders and key members of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) in an effort to educate them on the Army as an option for today's youth.
"A top priority for Cadet Command is to recruit talented cadets who already have a foundation in teamwork and who practice discipline in their lives," said Smith. "It's obvious these student musicians participating in DCI's annual competition possess values that align with Army values. That's why we work to educate these students and the people who influence them about the opportunities available in the Army."
The Army's relationship with DCI and NAfME leaders over the last six years was forged by the decision to include a marching band as part of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl lineup, which already featured the top high school football seniors across the nation.
The All-American Bowl Marching Band has produced five Army ROTC Cadets in the last five years.
Two former band members, Michael Thompson, who served as the2012 U.S. Army All-American Band Drum Major, and Sarah Herrero, of the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, also attended the DCI event and received an opportunity to meet with Smith.
Thompson will be a freshman at Florida International University this coming fall and will participate in the Army's ROTC program there. He remarked that he's looking forward to bettering himself and building his leadership skills.
Herrero, now a junior cadet at Texas Tech University, said her experience as a U.S. Army All-American Marching Band member helped solidify her decision to join the Army's ROTC program.
"When I attended AAB I was already considering many college options, and ROTC was one of them," she said. "But after working with the Army Band and meeting the soldiers on-site, it confirmed my decision to join the ROTC program."
Cadet Command seeks high-quality, diverse applicants who participate in sports, music and other extracurricular clubs and activities.
"When most people think of the Army, they think of things that go boom," Smith said. "Many people do not understand what Army officers are or what they do. There are 42 different career fields for officers to choose from in the Army, and ROTC is the launch pad."
The 2013 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band members will be named throughout the fall and the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be played on January 5, 2013, in San Antonio, Texas and will be broadcast live nationally on NBC.