Budget crisis hits sour note for Army's TRADOC band
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Spending cuts have forced the Army to cancel an upcoming concert at Christopher Newport University where two Medal of Honor recipients from the Korean War were to be recognized.
The Training and Doctrine Command band was to perform March 30 at the Ferguson Center for the Arts.
The TRADOC band will continue to play locally and on military bases as long the performances are at no cost to the Army. But the "Heritage of Heroes" concert "was determined by TRADOC to be non-mission critical to the Army," according to a press release.
The guests of honor at the concert were to be Ronald E. Rosser and Rodolfo "Rudy" Hernandez. Both received the Medal of Honor from President Harry S Truman for personal acts of valor during the Korean War. Rosser is an Ohio native and Hernandez lives in North Carolina.
Band members are disappointed at the cancellation, but they will continue to keep other performances that don't bump up against the budget, such as its summer "Music Under the Stars" series, said 1st Lt. Silas N. Huff, executive officer and associate bandmaster.
"The financial restrictions are pretty tight," he said.
The federal budget crisis has hit every corner Virginia's defense community, from canceled ship deployments, stalled projects and the prospect of furloughs hitting 40,000 civilian defense workers in Hampton Roads alone. The Pentagon is being squeezed by across-the-board budget cuts under sequestration, and by operating under last year's budget resolution.
But the fallout has also put a damper on how the military interacts with local communities.
The Air Force has already canceled the popular Air Power over Hampton Roads air show. And the TRADOC band aren't the only Army musicians feeling the pinch.
The Army Field Band, based at Fort Meade in Maryland, has canceled its spring tour of 139 performances in April and May throughout the southeastern U.S., according to a story on the Army's web site.
The Army has also reported that its parachute-jumping team, The Golden Knights, will not perform public demonstrations for the rest of the fiscal year.