News: Foley, Ala., native selected to participate in Presidential Inaugural Parade
WASHINGTON – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Cockson, a member of the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” has been selected to participate in the 57th presidential inaugural parade, which is scheduled to take place Jan. 21, 2013.
Cockson, a Foley, Ala., native plays French horn with the band.
The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” was founded in 1922 by Army Chief of Staff, General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing. Its mission is to provide music for official ceremonies and special events throughout the National Capital Region. The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” is the premier band of the U.S. Army, the nation’s most senior service. Many of its classically trained members have earned advance degrees from the nation’s most prestigious music schools and conservatories. Since the inauguration of Calvin Coolidge in 1925, “Pershing’s Own” has been part of the official escort to the president in each inaugural parade.
Assembled for special, major presidential events, such as inaugurals and state funerals, the 99-member band is comprised of members of the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, the U.S. Army Concert Band, and the U.S. Army Blues. The band is led by Leader and Commander Col. Thomas H. Palmatier of Ballston Spa, N.Y., and the Drum Major is Master Sgt. Scott A. Little, of Marshfield, Md.
The U.S. Armed Forces have participated in the inauguration of the president of the United States since April 30, 1789, when members of the U.S. Army, local militia units and Revolutionary War veterans escorted George Washington to his first inauguration ceremony at Federal Hall in New York City. Participation by the armed forces traditionally includes musical units, marching bands, color guards, salute batteries and honor cordons. More than two hundred twenty years later, the participation of soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen and Coast Guardsmen continues to honor our commander in chief, recognize civilian control of the armed forces and celebrate democracy.
Just as military men and women show their commitment to this country while deployed around the globe, participation of service members in this traditional event demonstrates our military’s support to the nation’s commander in chief.