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 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, Tokyo 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.