By Cpl. Demetrius Morgan | 1st Marine Division
Staff Sgt. Alexander Jason Panos, a trombone player with the 1st Marine Division Band, was recognized as the Marine Corps Musician of the Year Award for 2015, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Two Marine Corps musicians are recognized for superior skills and accomplishments annually. One of those Marines is a non-commissioned officer and the other a staff non-commissioned officer in a competitive field of world-class musicians. He will be awarded formally in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in December.
Although this is Panos’ first time winning the award, it’s not the first time he has attempted to achieve the accolade.
“It’s one of the most rewarding aspects of our job,” Panos said. “We will get a young lance corporal from our [military band] school and you get to groom them and teach them how a Marine band plays music.”
After winning the award, both Panos and Wire see a bright future, leading to different opportunities within the Marine Corps and other aspirations available to a musician of his caliber. Panos has his sights set on someday leading a band as a warrant officer; an opportunity only afforded to the most well-rounded and talented Marine Corps musicians.
“In the band field, you can pursue different avenues once you hit staff sergeant,” Panos said. “I’m looking into putting in a package to become a band officer.”
Staff Sgt. Alexander Jason Panos, along with his peers and subordinates, are more than just musicians in a band. They are Marines who play a pivotal part in the storied relationship between music and the Marine Corps.