Careers & Jobs
U.S. Army band conductor in the field

Band Officer (42C)

  • Enlisted
  • Officer
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve
  • Open to Women
  • Entry Level


Every year, the Army band program selects one or two highly qualified individuals via competitive auditions to serve as Army bands officers. These officers rotate through a variety of positions, including associate conductor, administrator and instructor at the Armed Forces School of Music.

After several years of experience, a band officer may also serve as commander and principal conductor of an Army band.


Those who want to serve must first take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a series of tests that helps you better understand your strengths and identify which Army jobs are best for you.


Job training for a band officer requires completion of the Officer Basic Course, where you’ll learn leadership skills used in leading and managing an Army band.

Helpful Skills

  • Masters degree in music
  • Professional conducting or teaching experience
  • Superior skills as a conductor
  • Management skills


Total compensation includes housing, medical, food, special pay, and vacation time. Learn more about total compensation.

Education Benefits

In the Army, qualified students can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus an annual stipend for living expenses. Learn more about education benefits.

Future Civilian Careers

An Army bands officer is the equivalent of a civilian conductor, bandleader or musical director.


Those interested in this job may be eligible for civilian employment, after the Army, by enrolling in the Army PaYS program. The PaYS program is a recruitment option that guarantees a job interview with military friendly employers that are looking for experience and trained Veterans to join their organization. Find out more about the Army PaYS Program at

  • AT&T, Inc.
  • Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Kraft Foods Global, Inc.
  • Sears Holdings Corporation
  • Time Customer Service, Inc.
  • Walgreen Co.