On October 1, 1978, the First Marine Aircraft Wing Band of
Iwakuni combined with the Third Marine Division Band of Okinawa to create the
III Marine Amphibious Force Band. It was assigned to Camp Foster on December 1, 1978
and later re-designated as the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band, the only
Expeditionary Force Band in the Marine Corps. This unique attribute exemplifies
its versatile nature as a military organization comprised of professional
musicians that are also competent and effective Marines.
Consisting of 50 members, the III Marine Expeditionary Force
Band performs in over 300 commitments per year. They are highly proficient in a
wide variety of commitments such as the Cherry Blossom Festival, Japan
Self-Defense Force Marching Festival and the Okinawa City Street Parade, to
name a few. Due to the Band’s location, the people of Okinawa can enjoy their
rendition of Japanese music.
Aside from commitments, the Marines of the III MEF Band are
required to meet all standards of training set forth by the Marine Corps. Every
year they put their instruments aside and participate in annual training such
as Ulchi Focus Lens (UFL) in South Korea, rifle qualification, gas chamber and
physical fitness tests.