CAMP ZAMA, Japan — The synchronous beat of a cadence being sung by a formation of troops is a big part of the ceremonial Army culture.

Sgt. Sherif Mostafa, a member of the 296th U.S. Army Japan band, can add his name to the list of servicemembers contributing to this distinguished tradition as he prepares to unveil his new march for the upcoming USARJ Birthday Ball being held at Camp Zama later this month.

The march is the first written for the USARJ, and the meaning behind it speaks toward the overall mission of U.S. soldiers serving in Japan, Mostafa said. The new anthem calls upon these soldiers to serve and defend Japan as they work side by side with their hosts, he said.

Mostafa and other members of the Army band were challenged by their leadership to compose a march that would represent the soldiers in Japan. He composed three before settling on the selected march.

"I felt really good about this one when I wrote it," he said.

Mostafa said he spent two months composing the march and a few weeks editing it, and credits his wife with helping him writing the lyrics.

Mostafa says the response to the march has been positive.

"I hear people whistling it and humming it," he said.

"The greatest compliment for any musician is to have someone whistle or hum your music, because it means you’ve reached them in some way."

Mostafa’s love of music is nothing new. A musician in the Army for the past four years, he began playing instruments 18 years ago and began composing music 11 years ago.

As the architect of the anthem, Mostafa inevitably leaves his mark on USARJ, but he said the impact of his accomplishment still hasn’t hit him.

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