Joe retired from the Marine Corps after 20 years of service. He served as a trumpet player in 2nd Marine Air Wing, 3rd Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, and the Albany Marine Band. After a tour as a platoon sergeant at the Navy School of Music, Joe served as a Drill Instructor in Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Parris Island, SC. After pushing Recruits, Joe served as the Drum Major for Quantico Marine Band and the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Band in Twentynine Palms, CA. Joe now works for a government contractor.
BAF: Do you have any stories from your Drill Instructor days you would like to share? Haha. Actually, how rewarding was it to witness the transformation of the young men you trained?
Joe: When the recruits come back from mess and maintenance duty, they are getting ready for final drill with their first high and tight (haircut), sleeves rolled up and biceps bulging they started looking like Marines. This still motivates me thinking about it.
BAF: As a USMC Drum Major and as the Drum Major for the tattoo, how many years will this year’s tattoo make for you? Any stories you care to share? I know there are tons.
Joe: This is my 11th year going up there (to Estes Park). One year the Old Guard played the Marine’s Hymn for us. That was cool. I really miss hearing Bob Tracy’s voice. He was the announcer (of the tattoo) for 22 years.
BAF: This year’s tattoo will be interesting. I am excited about 1st Marine Division, the Old Guard and Band of America’s Few. We have brothers and sisters in all three groups. What do you think this year will bring?
Joe: This is the all-star lineup!