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Navy Musician

Navy musician in uniform sings into a microphone

More Information


  • Perform as a member of marching, concert, stage or dance bands or combos, in styles including jazz, rock, soul, pop, country/western and bluegrass
  • Conduct, rehearse and perform in these groups for radio, TV and stage productions
  • Compose, transcribe and arrange music for all types of ensembles
  • Give concerts and provide music for military ceremonies, religious services, parades and social occasions
  • Perform for Navy personnel and their families, for the general public and at diplomatic functions

Work Environment

Navy Musicians can be assigned to play in one of the Navy’s two Premiere Bands: the United States Navy Band Washington, D.C. or the Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, MD. They may also perform in one of 11 Navy Fleet bands stationed globally. In this career, the world is your stage—you may travel to a variety of locations, boosting morale and demonstrating the distinction of the Navy band.

Musicians set the standard for musical excellence, performing in various musical styles anywhere in the world. Genres range from Broadway to big band, jazz to contemporary rock, country/western to baroque.

Training & Advancement

Upon completion of initial training at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, (known as Boot Camp), those pursuing a Musician role report to the Armed Forces School of Music in Little Creek, VA, where they receive formal Navy training at “A” School for 21 weeks. Here, they develop a working knowledge of performing in concert bands, marching bands, stage bands and small specialty ensembles.

Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance.

Post-Service Opportunities

Specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields in the civilian world.

Education Opportunities

Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy technical and operational training for a Navy Musician can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education.

You may also continue your education through undergraduate degree opportunities like the Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Qualifications & Requirements

A high-school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor. Positions in the music field are very limited, and qualified applicants must demonstrate a high level of musical skill and knowledge prior to being accepted. Applicants must also pass an official audition and meet all qualifications for enlistment in the Navy. Those seeking a Musician position must be U.S. citizens.

Note that strict appearance requirements must be met in order to be considered.

Contact a Navy Recruiter or call or email the Navy Music Program Audition Supervisor to learn more.

General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.

Part-Time Opportunities

There are no part-time opportunities available as a Navy Musician. If you’re interested in other part-time careers in the Navy Reserve, you can talk to a recruiter or review more careers at your own pace here.