Sequestration: The Day the Coast Guard Music Died

The Armed Forces Medley

The Armed Forces Medley

The entire Southeast Tour by the US Coast Guard Band, all eight concerts, has been cancelled due to sequestration.

“In this difficult budget climate the service’s primary objective is to preserve our ability to meet the highest-priority mission activities, including search and rescue, critical security operations, and emergency response,” is part of a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Public Affairs.

The band tour was to start Thursday evening in Florida:

  • Thursday at 7 p.m. at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL
  • Friday at the University of South Florida School of Music, Tampa, FL
  • Saturday at the Riverwalk Pavilion, Bradenton, FL

Appearances were also cancelled:

  • March 10 at Valdosta High School Performing Arts Center, Valdosta, GA
  • March 11 at Mobile Civic Center, Mobile, AL
  • March 12 at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • March 13 at Germantown Performing Arts Center, Germantown, TN
  • March 14 at Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oxford, MS

The Coast Guard Band calendar still shows concerts scheduled in April, May, June and through December 2013, but all of them are performed at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT.

The cancellations are in line with other military cutbacks.

The Navy cancelled four appearances by the Blue Angels in April at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa; Corpus Christi, TX; Vidalia, GA and Beaufort, SC.

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U.S. Women Win Bronze at Military Sports Games

The U.S. women's sailing team celebrates after receiving their bronze medal in the women's division of the fleet sailing event. Pictured are, from left to right, Coast Guard Lts. Elizabeth Tufts and Nicole Auth, Navy Ensign Emily Frost and Coast Guard Lt. Krysia Pohl. Not pictured on the team is Marine Corps Maj. Frances Clemens. DOD photo by Fred W. Baker III

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, July 23, 2011 – The U.S. women’s sailing team took home the bronze medal yesterday here at the 5th International Military Sports Council’s World Games.

This is the third medal that U.S. teams have garnered in the competitions, all earned by female teams.

The team, made up of Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps service members, has only sailed together for a total of 11 days, including the competition. The group met during their training week in Annapolis, Md., before flying here for the July 16-24 competitions.

Boats line up for the first day of sailboat racing at the 5th International Military Sports Council's World Games in Rio de Janeiro. Courtesy photo by Navy Cdr. John Gordon

“We sailed an awesome regatta. The girls came together really well during the practice week,” said Coast Guard Lt. Krysia Pohl, skipper of the five-woman team. “We just got better every day. We stayed confident. We never got down when we made mistakes.”

The team’s medal will be one of only a handful the United States expects to earn at these competitions, which often times pits U.S. troops coming from duty stations around the world against athletes from other countries who are already Olympic medalists.

Pohl said she was proud to compete at this level against some of the world’s top sailing athletes.

“I think it’s really important that we continue to support athletes in the military to attend events like this because it does more for unity among the countries,” she said.

The United States has 141 troops from all of the services competing here. Officials here don’t break the athletes down by service, but the Army and Navy make up the largest contingent of the group. Of the athletes 79 are men and 62 are women.

The games offer more than 20 venues, including the popular track and field, boxing, swimming, volleyball and basketball. It also features equestrian events, parachuting and orienteering.

You can read the full Armed Forces article HERE.

Marines Facebook Nears 1,000,000 Friends

Thanks to Milblogging.com for pointing out that the U.S. Marines are about to pass a milestone with Facebook fans. At last check, their site had more than 999,100 (a correction as of 12 January 2011 EDT 6:57) 904,399 fans.

Here’s an example of the information you gain by being a fan:

According to Milblogging, the Marines are outpacing the other military branches fan bases. As of Jan. 10, 2011, the Facebook pages breakout:

The U.S. Army: 583,184 People Like This
U.S. Air Force: 291,980 People Like This
U.S. Navy: 256,389 People Like This
U.S. Coast Guard: 46,289 People Like This

It’s important to remember that only those on Facebook can “Like This.” So, any measure of popularity should take that into account. No matter the numbers, Milblogging writes that the military branches appear the most successful at using the social medium.

Military Branches Send Joint Video Christmas Card

Thanks to the Coast Guard crews at Florida’s Clearwater Air Station for turning me onto this video. It might just bring you a smile – it certainly looks like the Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard members had fun making it.

If you’ve got a favorite video you’d like to share, send me an email or post the link on the comment page. And, Seasons Greetings to all and to all a good day.

Armed Forces Honored in Bronze

A new bronze sculpture honoring all five service branches was unveiled at St. Leo university.

A new bronze statute featuring figures from the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard was dedicated on Veterans Day at St. Leo University.

Sculptor Dexter Benedict welding during the sculpture installation.

Titled For Those Who Serve, the sculpture was inspired by and commemorates military service members and the university’s committment to educating them. 

Artist Dexter Benedict helped  install the sculpture that sits as a focal point on campus – halfway between the Student Activities Building and the Student Community Center on the main campus.

For Those Who Serve is a sculpture of seven forged figures. Five represent each branch of the Arme Forces which are holding up a figure depicting Lady Liberty. The seventh figure represents the St. Leo faculty.

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