United States Marine Band
I did a post yesterday about the Army hiring two rappers, and I touched on the United States Marine Band, you know the President’s Own Band, the Marines that wear a red uniform and are often seen playing at or around the White House.
For those wanting to know more about how the United States Marine Band trains these hired musicians, the Drum Major (who is a real Marine) is responsible for educating these musicians and making sure they know and understand the customs and courtesies of the Marine Corps. It is important to note that if the hired band member does want to go through boot camp, they most certainly are welcome.
According to the current band website, there are 171 official members of the band (this includes, stagehands and other non-instrumental tasks), and 21 are Marines that went through regular Marine Corps recruit training. In fact, the only Marines that play an instrument and go through recruit training are the Drum Majors (Master Gunnery Sgt. Duane F. King & Gunnery Sgt. James R. Holt III) and that makes sense, as they are the Marines doing the training.
There is a really good post on Quora from Marine Veteran Walter Trachim that helps shed some light on the Marine Corps bands and the Music Enlistment Option Program (MEOP). Walter was a Marine who was in several Marine Corps bands and then was in the reserves for a couple of years as an 0311 (Rifleman).