Basic TrainingQ. Does every regional band musician have to go through basic training?
A. Yes, basic training is a requirement for every Air Force musician.
Q. What is basic training like? How long is it?
A. Basic Training is an initial 8 1/2-week course at Lackland AFB (San Antonio, TX). While in basic training, you'll learn standard military drill and ceremonies, Air Force history, customs and courtesies, and will participate in daily physical fitness exercises. For more details, go to: http://www.basictraining.af.mil/
Q. Assuming I'm going into the Air Force in another career field, can I audition for a regional band while in basic training?
A. No. However, you can apply to audition for the band career field when a vacancy becomes available and your service requirements have been met. As with other applicants, you must submit a pre-recorded CD and performance resume and pass a live audition. Once found musically qualified for entrance into the band career field, you would apply for retraining status. Normal military service requirements apply: A first-term Airman (four-year enlistment contact) assigned to a stateside base is eligible to apply for retraining after he or she has completed 35 months (no more than 43 months) of military service. Six-year enlistees may apply to re-train after completing 59 months of military service.
Q. Do Air Force musicians attend a technical school after basic training?
A. No. While in basic training, all enlisted musicians are assigned to the 737th Training Group Drum and Bugle Corps flight for initial skills qualification. After basic training, Airman musicians report directly to their assigned band.
Q. How and when will I know which band I'm assigned to?
A. As a general rule, you'll know which band you'll be assigned to before you enlist, usually the same day as your audition. Musicians are rarely diverted from that initial assignment.
HousingQ. Where can I stay upon immediate arrival to the band?
A. Incoming service members and their families may stay in temporary lodging facilities on-base for up to 30 days.
Q. When do I "house hunt" after basic training?
A. You can request up to 8 days from your gaining unit to find a new residence. These days do not count against vacation time (leave). "House hunting" must be taken immediately after basic training in the area of the assigned base.
Q. Where will my household goods be stored if I am temporarily housed?
A. If the Air Force moves your household goods, they will store them free of charge while you are temporarily housed. If you decide to move yourself, the Air Force will reimburse you for a portion of your moving and storage expenses.
Q. Will I live on or off base?
A. Married members have the choice of living either on or off base; however there is a waiting list at some locations for on-base housing. Single members are normally authorized to live off base and receive a housing allowance to offset the cost. Ask your band manager or audition coordinator for further details.
Will I deploy?All Air Force bands deploy. The most commonly deployed ensembles are our Rock/Popular Music Ensembles. Deployments generally last about 90 days. During that time, Airman musicians bolster troop morale, build partnerships, and strengthen relationships with host nation communities through musical performances. While deployed, AF bands are not assigned non-musical tasks. Air Force bands deploy up to 10 members at a time on a rotational schedule, so once a band has deployed, generally it will not deploy again for at least 18 months.