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The United States Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps (D&B) with Andrea Howard '15 - Podcast Episode #035

podcast May 28, 2020



Incoming plebes with or without musical talent (yes, the D&B will teach you to play an instrument!), should certainly listen to Andrea talk about how to join D&B during Plebe Summer.



An Insider’s Look at the Drum and Bugle Corps (D&B) at The United States Naval Academy with Andrea Howard, Former Corps Commander

Andrea Howard has already been a phenomenal guest on the Academy Insider podcast (Episode #014), but she’s back to offer a little more insight into another aspect of life at the United States Naval Academy.

Andrea Howard was Commander of the Drum & Bugle Corps (D&B) in her Firstie (senior) year, in the Fall of 2014. 

During her time as Commander, she expanded the roles of academics and physical mission officers, to have internal mechanisms improve.

“We had, for instance, Friday night tutoring sessions and Corps wide workouts to start some of our outdoor practices, and so we began to function as its internal family that acted as a supplement, and very much a second company for many of the midshipmen.”



The United States Naval Academy (USNA), an institution known for its rigorous military and academic training, also offers an array of extracurricular activities that enrich the midshipman experience. Among these, the Drum and Bugle Corps (D&B) stands out as a unique blend of musical talent and naval discipline, impacting not just its members but the entire Academy community. 


The Drum and Bugle Corps: A Fusion of Music and Military Precision

D&B, comprising about 100 midshipmen each year, embodies the spirit of the Brigade with its ensemble of percussion and brass instruments. Andrea’s journey in D&B, from a new joiner to the Corps Commander, highlights a path of leadership, camaraderie, and personal growth. The Corps, acting as a "31st company", develops its leaders and fosters a supportive culture that rivals that of any company within the Brigade.

Under Andrea’s leadership, D&B not only showcased musical excellence but also focused on the holistic development of its members, emphasizing academics and physical fitness alongside musical training. This approach reflects the broader mission of the Naval Academy, balancing moral, mental, and physical development.


Unforgettable Experiences and Leadership Lessons

One of the most striking aspects of D&B is the level of independence and responsibility afforded to its members, particularly those in leadership positions. Andrea recalls planning and executing logistics for nationwide performances, a task that presented unique challenges and learning opportunities. This autonomy is a testament to the trust placed in midshipmen, preparing them for leadership roles in their future naval careers.


The Role of D&B in Naval Traditions

D&B is not just about performances; it is an integral part of the traditions that define the Naval Academy. From football games to formal parades, D&B adds a layer of spirit and pride to every occasion. Andrea fondly remembers the diverse events D&B participated in, each offering a chance to promote Naval spirit and foster unity within the Brigade. The Corps’ involvement in sports, particularly in supporting Navy teams against Army, exemplifies the role of D&B in building morale and team spirit.


Creating a Second Family

Beyond the performances and the practices lies the core of D&B’s impact: the community it builds. Andrea emphasizes the close-knit nature of D&B, describing it as a "second company" for many of its members. This sense of family, forged through shared experiences and challenges, extends beyond the Academy walls, with alumni maintaining strong connections long after graduation.


A Path Worth Taking

Andrea Howard’s insights into D&B reveal an organization that offers much more than just musical education. It is a microcosm of the Academy experience, emphasizing leadership, brotherhood, and self-development. For those at the Naval Academy or considering joining, D&B represents an opportunity to engage in a fulfilling extracurricular activity that enhances the traditional midshipman experience.

In this episode of the Academy Insider podcast, we are reminded of the diverse opportunities available at the Naval Academy. D&B is a prime example of how extracurricular activities can complement academic and military training, offering lessons that resonate well beyond the Academy’s gates.



The Drum and Bugle Corps at the United States Naval Academy is more than just a musical group; it is a leadership laboratory, a family, and an essential part of the Naval Academy tradition. Through the experiences shared by Andrea Howard, we gain an appreciation for the dedication, passion, and camaraderie that define D&B. It stands as a shining example of the rich, multifaceted life at the Academy, where every midshipman has the opportunity to explore their interests, develop new skills, and prepare for a future of service and leadership.


The Drum and Bugle Corps plays at football and basketball games.


They also play at noon meal formations.


In addition, they play in parades, concerts, and events around the country and internationally too.



According to the Naval Academy website, the Drum and Bugle Corps was founded as the all-midshipmen Corps in 1914 and serves the Academy in many capacities. It is the music and drill for noon meal formation and dress parades, as well as the pep band for athletic games, and halftime show for Navy football. The Drum and Bugle Corps is the oldest active drum corps in the nation. 

Thank you to Jordan Orris of the Academy Insider team for her contributions to this post!


Grant Vermeer - Founder and Host of the Academy Insider Podcast

Grant Vermeer is the founder of Academy Insider and the host of The Academy Insider podcast and the USNA Property Network Podcast. He was a recruited athlete which brought him to Annapolis where he was a four-year member of the varsity basketball team.

He was a cyber operations major and commissioned into the Cryptologic Warfare Community. He was stationed at Fort Meade and supported the Subsurface Direct Support mission.

He separated from the Navy in 2023 and now owns The Vermeer Group, a boutique residential real estate company that specializes in serving the United States Naval Academy community PCSing to California & Texas. 

Connect with Grant Vermeer, The Academy Insider here:


Transcript of this podcast episode:

Grant:   0:03
This is your host Grant Vermeer Naval Academy class of 2017 and I'm your academy insider. It's my goal to be your guide through the Naval Academy experience. By sharing my stories and providing you inside information into the life of a midshipman. Academy insider is in no way officially affiliated with the United States Naval Academy. All of the content on Academy Insider is my own. It does not reflect the views of the United States Naval Academy, the United States Navy nor the Department of Defense. She was so good in her first episode that I had to bring her back for another one. Today, I'm lucky enough to be joined by Andrea Howard, who's a class of 15 graduate from the Naval Academy and is a currently a submarine officer. In her first episode on Academy insider, she talked all about the submarine selection process as well as life of a submarine Joo in the Fleet. But today we focus on her time at the academy, specifically her time within DnB, the drum and bugle corps. So Andrea was a four year member of Drum Bugle Corps and into her first year, she was actually the Corps commander for D M B. So she gives us keen insight into everything related to D. M. B. From the tryout process to the actual day to day life of DMG members to their performances and events and everything that they do. I think you guys will get a tremendous amount of information about what DnB is, what they do, their time, commitment for obligations and everything about the life of a D and B member at the Naval Academy. This is a super informative, super entertaining episode, and I hope you will enjoy it. Hey, Andrea, thank you so much for coming back and being a part of the academy insider podcast again.

Andrea:   1:43
It's so good to be back. Like I said, harm are huge fans. To do a victory lap isn't is truly my honor.

Grant:   1:50
I love it if you don't mind. Just remind the audience a little bit about yourself, where you from, how you got to the academy and then a little bit of background about you as a midshipman.

Andrea:   2:00
Great. So I'm Andrea Howard. I'm from Norcross, Georgia, originally right outside Atlanta, and immediately after high school, I joined the great class of 2015 in 19th company about the academy. I double majored in Arabic in political science, and for today's podcast, I'll mention that I was the core commander for the Naval Academy, Drummond View or or D and B as the mid say in the fall of my first year. The best equivalent to that of the brigade structure is a company commander, but we'll talk today about the uniqueness of the core and just a bit. And then, after commissioning, I had the opportunity to attend graduate school for two years the United Kingdom before starting the nuclear treaty pipeline for submarines.

Grant:   2:40
Yeah, I love it s so thank you for that. And again, like you mention today's topic is going to be the drum Buick or D M. B. So, first off, first and foremost, can you just tell everyone a little bit about what D. M. B is? How it's comprised, like what instruments? Air played, what personnel that you have, and just everything about D and B from from high level

Andrea:   3:02
D M B stands for Drummond dual core, and it is comprised of approximately 100 midshipmen. Of course, that varies year to year. Um and every year it's reformulated restructures to accommodate Anybody who wants to join in the equipment play either. Percussion instruments to include Stand Rome's and based Rome's tenors and pit instruments like this I'll a phone or brass instruments specifically trumpet telephones. Euphonium sze into those. The most fantastic part of Dean be for me was thievery I ity of midshipmen that it attracted and recruited. So while we all get assigned a company, you're replete Summer D and D, for me was like a second company because it consisted of midshipmen from every company in the brigade and then within the the structure of the organization functioned very much so, like a 31st company of sorts, because we had the Corps commander, which was the equivalent of a company commander of brigade and Officer and an incredibly active operations officer who planned out all our trips and meals and lodging. And why was Corps commander really expanded the roles of academics and physical mission officers, tohave internal mechanisms to improved and be members, grades and physical fitness? We had, for instance, Friday night tutoring sessions and core wide workouts to start some of our outdoor practices, and so we began to function as its internal family that acted as a supplement and very much so. A second company for many of the midshipmen.

Grant:   4:28
Yeah. Wow, I had no idea that you guys had collateral Bill. It's like that. Or did anything in regards academics or PM already like that's that's way cool,

Andrea:   4:36
have you?

Grant:   4:37
And was that something? So I apologize if I'm a suitable That was something that you would kind of developed through your time in D and D. Or is that always the case when you showed up, those were already things? Or is that something that kind of developed over your four years at the academy and kind of made their way into

Andrea:   4:53
existing? No, that always existed. So there's always a core staff of five people that some of these various missions and like I said, it's it's academics and physical missions. But then also the more traditional kind of company commander executive on your operations officer billets, and it's it has to do with this year responsibility that is placed upon the students who actually run D and B. Um, we do have outside civilian support. An officer representative and I was very fortunate. We had an 06 that captain. It was our offer. Officer representative. Why was the court commander which made it a little bit easy to liaise directly with the comment on for planning our operations? But outside of that, that one officer in a gaggle of break civilian instructors who are really the musical experts the actual planning and execution of the movement, orders and trips that for Dean be largely falls on the midshipmen, which to me was in unprecedented an incomparable level of given to the midshipmen. Because see that for any other club that handles so much equipment in strictly monetary funding to

Grant:   6:06
yeah, absolutely. Um, and those were definitely things that I want to dive into a little bit more a little later in the episode. Ah, but kind of before we get there. If someone were to kind of just Google music of the Naval Academy, they might stumble across the Naval Academy bands. Do you mind just explaining a little bit about what the difference is between D. M. B and what the differences between the Naval Academy bands and if there's any overlap between

Andrea:   6:31
the two, of course, So D and B is different in the Naval Academy band because it is comprised entirely of midshipmen for midshipman, whereas Ban has professional enlisted musicians whose Navy why job is to provide the Naval Academy with a full ensemble of musical instruments? So what? We both play in brigade wide parades. You'll see the Naval Academy Dan kind of stashed in front of the big gate, and they marched back and forth and congregated. The DBS stashed all the way down by first they're niche is to also support professional music events like superintendent parties and forestall lectures and banquets. D and be. On the other hand, like I said is, is comprised by midshipmen. Foreman shipments. So do the parades, and we do new information all year long. But we have two different functions in the fall and spring, based off the events that are happening in this boarding and the sporting schedule for the academy. So in the fall, we travel extensively in support of maybe football games. That way, it's handle the whole Navy football views, and that's our real niche. We perform at half time. We provide pet music in the stands, bring we should focus to guest appearances and parades around the nation and too heavily supporting the Navy men and women's basketball teams. Like, you know, oftentimes they'll be kind of weird game stashed on long weekends or Pam periods. And sorry S O s. Oh, no, and I loved it. We developed really strong relationship, especially with team captains my senior year. So nice. But often times will be kind of us. The sold, you know, Cheer squad that's there for the basketball teams. And you guys have incredibly demanding schedules to there. There's a lot of time that's sucked up by detaining you for those who commit to the organization but hold familial and hopefully for the members have a bit of fun intertwined. I loved being able to go to all these these sports events. It's really good to know some of my fellow midshipmen who are on these teams, and that's kind of how we do it in the fall and spring.

Grant:   8:37
Yeah, absolutely. And I appreciate you bringing that up. And I appreciate de Ambien, general cause absolutely. Like you said, sometimes you are the sole, like a big shipment support at those games, and we absolutely do appreciate it um so thank you for that. But I also want to talk a little bit about you mentioning parades. So parades air a pretty unique thing about service academies and about the Naval Academy. Specifically, You know, if you go to a spill in school, you're not gonna be marching in a military parade. Um, and it's not normal for, like, musicians to kind of do a military parade. So I guess my question for you is what is the role of d and B in parades and then specifically in your time as the first is the dean be commander? What was your role specifically in the parades in that role? So you kind of just make your way through kind of being plead to a second class your role in parades in the role of Dean be in general. And then how that shifted when you became a first day and took command.

Andrea:   9:37
Okay, so D m B in parades has been a long time institution firstly, so I'll mention our little tidbit that we get the grades which every time, that in 1914 this gaggle of midget mint assembled a musical support team for a baseball game at ST Dahlan's, and since then D and E formed into formal institution, and it is the oldest active drum corps in the nation. As you mentioned, I was the corps commander and specifically was a corps commander for the 100th year of operation for Gene. So we got a pretty big shout out in the parade's during my first year old, which was, but it was a nice little bit of recognition for a really long standing in traditional organization in terms of the role of D and D members and parades. They're expected to march with Drum and Bugle Corps and not with your company. That's what we need people to provide that musical support to the freaking thing and actually physically be there with your instrument from Europe. Levi Earth. You're second class here. So for the 1st 3 years, they'll be marking actually playing your instrument in the parade. Uh, which I think is a pretty nice alternative to rifle Personally. Yeah, hand for the people who are lucky enough to get those leadership Phyllis of Cork Manner and XO during the first year than they form a traditional wedge that you see for each of the other companies. Like I said, Danby is stashed at the end of the parade deck. Um, right by first company during clips of her were stash right by Alfa Company and the corps commander does all of the, you know, women don gizmo sword, huh? So we're routines that the other company commanders do. And when all the company commanders are called out by the brigade commander during the parade, Denby company commander reports with the others.

Grant:   11:28
Absolutely fantastic. All right, thank you s so much for that explanation as well. Um, and now I kind of want to jump just a little bit into how you first got involved in DnB. So when you showed up is a plead was deemed be something you knew that you wanted to do. Or is that something that someone had mentioned, like during cleave Something you're like? Oh, that sounds cool. I want to do that.

Andrea:   11:51
Yeah. I joined Danby during my please summer and stuff with it for all four years in my time of the caddy. Hence why they would work up to that billet of poor Commander. I personally heard about the organization before clean summer. I talked with our civilian director, Jeff were before I report to the academy. So I was on the lookout for him. You know, gaggles of of ah, sports, too. You recruitment and such. I had the opportunity Thio play Club Golf of the Academy. I was really going house, so I contacted people before boarding. But I could have played golf. I thought about trying to walk onto the club. Saw all team. Ultimately, for me, though, you know, the academy talks about these moral, mental and physical missions, but I still wanted a part of my brain in my time to be devoted to music and arts culture. And so for me to exercise a different side of my brain at the academy between a riel relax ation tool and sanity method to just step away from from the academics. And they have this really wonderful support network of friends. So, like that I joined her in Cleaves summer during sleep summer, DD members trained on their instruments during Sports period and then during a drill period, they practiced marching and start learning the fundamentals of doing drill with an instrument which honestly afford some downtime away from intense company training Thio. I would say that I was decently, musically inclined beforehand. I had played pianos, music, Um, and then in middle school and high school, I played the saxophone. But not everybody needs to be musically inclined to going on. Specifically, I switched over from a woodwind instrument of brass instruments. I learned to play the euphonium, which is like a baby to the hotel. The bacon really described it. You say that about, uh, don't you misled by the word baby was quite ready. So about some strong arms of the cabin from it, and the reason that playing that instruments because it was a a kind of personnel gap that required additional additional people that year. So that's where they put a lot of the new members who were switching over from woodwind instruments and get involved in the Indian. Most members joined her includes summer. That's the traditional route because it provides the dedicated time to get familiar with those new instruments, which are provided to Midshipman. DnB owns these instruments in, um, every year you're assigned an instrument of the day of the year, and you take care of it becomes here your personal piece of brass that or drums that you are required to take care of. Meanwhile, there are tryouts anybody can effectively join. Um, I mean it. I was simply required to make a sound, any sound on the phone, um, but is not acting, so you two can do it if you are interested. And while there is an opportunity to join an academic year for anyone who's running the who's willing Thio hustle and learn the role in the organization, I would say that most people traditionally joined your includes summer, and then some people also leave after please summer, and some people leave during their course of time at the academy, just based off of their, you know, other academic or personal interests. And that's okay,

Grant:   15:14
too. Yeah, absolutely. And do you mind just talking a little bit about the time commitment because it sounds like you mentioned little bit during please. I'm already you're practicing instrument during Sports Period, and then again during the drill period, you're with D and B, which is a significant period of the day. What's the time commitment like when you shift into the academic year and what's the people kind of know what they're getting themselves into in time commitment, wise and obligations when joining something like

Andrea:   15:44
a baby. Yeah, it is extensive. Um, and like you alluded to, I mean over, please. Summer, a lot of your time is devoted to DEA. You vice your company. And even as an upperclassman, you have the opportunity over Pete Summer to spend one of your three summer training periods effectively leading and coaching these new DMG members into becoming part of the organization into forming a small contingent of of, ah, of the brigade or of the regiment to perform in parades and and at noon information. So it even clicks off in the summertime was being an extensive time commitment. If you're one of kind of the leading members of the organization, if you want Thio, send Thio Leadership Village. It's kind of expected that you'll do some summer. Training opportunities would seem to be the academic year, like you said, and Sports Period is still taking up I. D. And B. You are still doing parade practices with D and B, oftentimes performing at noon. Information which requires, you know shaves time before and after lunch are before and after reporting to lunch. And then when we swing in football season, you're performing nearly every weekend of football season, at least. Why was midshipman we had the funding? Thio travel to all the away games. In my clear, I've been to every single because I had the grades to support it and they needed a galley. I loved it, though. I mean, it was a great opportunity. Thio travel the country and escape little bit. And then, as we shift the basketball season than so many evenings are taking up a swell. We have to provide that support. What we would usually do is split into kind of a blue and gold crew for basketball games, but attending half of asking Logan and then for the big games with Army. Maybe everybody was expected to be there as well. So extensive time commitment because it's the typical time that's allotted for sports period and parades and new informations. But then it's also these additional requirements of supporting these sporting events. And so, you know, a lot of midshipmen have one sport. It's sports team that they're devoting their time Thio and um and still having to deal with the intricacies of of working that into their into their schedule. But for us, too, it's traveling for these myriad events, whether parades, um, in the springtime, too across the country or these basketball games or the football games. And so getting the permissions from instructors to miss class and getting the per diem and operations lined up so that we can execute these events and performances is incredibly demanding.

Grant:   18:18
Yeah, absolutely, incredibly demanding, an incredibly public. So I kind of want to ship back to the fact that, like, hey, yeah, you can try out and, like basically, you just have to make a noise. How do you guys? How do you guys train and developed people that are still learning their instruments or switching instruments? Is that all on the midshipmen toe learn, or is there outside civilian staff help to help with that development? Kind of what what's the training process and who all's involved in the practice aspect to guys make you as her to make you guys as good as you guys are when you perform these public venues,

Andrea:   18:55
it is a joint effort is the best way to put it so the main musical responsibility ultimately falls to our civilian. Our civilian director, Mr Jeff, were who's been there for ages on, and he's developed a great program. So he works in a stash underneath the musical department of the Naval Academy, which also has organizations like the Glee Clubs and Gospel Choir and Pipes and Drums. So there is a specific entity devoted to music and musical opportunities. Foreman shipment at the Naval Academy and that's run by Dr Aaron Smith and Mr Were Works beneath Mr Smith. And then there's another civilian who's Who's Mr Weir's assistant. Then we have for each of our instruments, these external volunteers who will come in and out of the goodness of their heart, try to teach midshipman who could barely make noise on the border without actually create music. Their commitment Berries, obviously by their personal schedules. It's not like they are are tied to the organization or forced to be there for work, so that people who end up filling the gaps, then are the mission in themselves, and we very much so, uh, has you send through the organization are expected to kind of learn the fundamentals of conducting and of training these instruments so little me who had never helped the Euphonium. You know, that was started by a freshman year. About time I was a first. He was, in many ways trying to coach up the new people and leave these practice sessions and run through music. Um, that just comes with time to for people who are a little bit less familiar like myself. So I said, Joint effort, um, involving the civilian instructors and the students themselves. But sometimes, too, you'll get the rogue element of like an officer representative or a senior enlisted leader becomes involved with the organization and also just has easily, you know, incredibly impressive musical skills, and we'll hop on. A little practice is to help us out.

Grant:   21:05
That's awesome. Absolutely. Um, And so as we continue to discuss TMB, it's truly apparent. One. How much time and effort you guys put in to being great at what you do. But that requires a ton of time together. And so my next question is due to the time commitment. Do the obligations do the amount you guys are working and performing together? Do you guys have a strong D M B alumni network? Is that someone you still keep in touch with a lot of people, Um, that you were in D and be with and then at large, the d and the organization. Does it have a pretty strong alumni

Andrea:   21:41
network? It is growing. Wouldn't say that we necessarily had a really cohesive means of keeping in touch at the point when I graduated. But I give a lot of credit to this wonderful drummer from the Class of 2016 who amped up the alumni met network and made a Facebook page. And it's been this great facilitator for people connecting across different geographic locations. Um, their duty stations now And we also have a huge tailgate at the homecoming game now annually, which really is a result of this particular individuals efforts. Um, you find that a lot of people like to come out of the woodwork for these events because GNB does hold this this really soft and, uh, soft spot in people's hearts. And it was such a great facilitator for meeting people across the brigade. I can't stress that enough. And so you have these really unique connections for past alumni who were able thio have a wider Web influence and network of friends and connections at the at the academy while they were midshipmen. And then as well, they've really maintained some of those special connections in the years to follow.

Grant:   22:58
Absolutely. Um, all right, so, um, that's awesome. The next kind of step to that, I guess, is again with how much time you guys do spend together. And especially during the sports period. Does DnB have an end of the year banquet? Kind of like a lot of the sports teams. D'oh! Ah! Are you guys eligible to get any of so for anyone? Doesn't know if you earn your like. We call our varsity letter at the at the Naval Academy. You then get a Enstar sweater like a varsity athlete sweater. Are you guys eligible to receive any of those things or something similar? And then do you have ah, end of the year banquet? Are any things like that?

Andrea:   23:36
Yeah. Hesitant to call it a varsity sweater because the athletes are fully protected. What? We can get a variant of that and it's still blue sweater with and on it. But the says you were distinctly Marta's and the D and the family and that practice of of getting the splitters was actually reinstated during my first year. One of my body to is my operations officer was really into the whole sweater game. He pushed hard to bring that back, and it sounds like it's stuck for three years to follow. We do have an end of your banquet to give out internal awards star most motivated members, and what a lot of midshipmen don't realize is the sheer amount of time that Dean demands. So, I mean, we've gone over, but it's every sports period and parade period Saturday, all season in its countless evenings during basketball seasons and several spring weekends for these now help great are consumed by D and B. It's nice to have a moment to step back in the in the year and reflect on some of the memories we've created the performances that we've done and to recognize the especially, uh, lower class lower class that shipment in their efforts and to give them an opportunity outside of their companies to be recognized for their controversial use contributions to the brigade.

Grant:   25:03
Yeah, absolutely. I think that's super special, and I'm glad you guys got sweaters cause I agree. The sweaters, they're sweet and I love it. Um,

Andrea:   25:11
warm for Army Navy games.

Grant:   25:15
Ah, I love it. Um, and so again, you mentioned all the different places and times you guys perform. Was there ever a favorite of yours? Wherever a favor performance or any kind of event that you guys would perform at that Always stuck out is one of your favorites.

Andrea:   25:32
Yeah. I have a long answer for you for this one. I like it. I have to pepper with just the array of events elite top because hard Toral describe some of the cool things that we've done. It is. It s so, um, I'll just throw some My favorite Devi performances at S o er regarding maybe football. I attended the Navy Notre Dame game in Ireland on DVDs, and I am to pick off my sophomore year at the neighborhood. Have me. So my work, I'm leaving the country ever. And I will always cherish that equipment. Local, uh, working vacation. And I turned. I had my 20th birthday while I was over there, too, and we actually flew back, so I thought it was too cool that my birthday was 27 hours long because that's my freshman year, too. I was just astounded to be standing on the field at Notre Dame's football stadium because I absolutely historical and vivacious crowd, so that blew my mind. Um, I always love supporting the basketball programs a bit Army to kick off second semester for the January Army Navy game because, as of alluded to your sometimes with folded shipment there at West Point in enemy territory,

Grant:   26:45
which is

Andrea:   26:46
seriously after the burden of making our presence known, um, for one of the women's games, we chanted Ball hog the entire time that they're hard has a bulge for anybody who understands basketball, understand, with a significant portion of the game, huh? And then the women's Black Hole team made it into the tournament. Why was in that shipment? And it was phenomenal toe. Take a little chunk of spring break away to go support and play for them. Parade wise, I got to play in Gasparilla in Tampa Bay, which is like a Martin Graham, but with adult pirates, Um, sounds interesting. I can promise you we actually got to play in Mardi Gras itself in New Orleans every year we played in the Patriots Day parade in Boston, which is the same because I was the Boston Marathon. And so I got to travel time. No, I went thio California for the first time and had my traditional rite of passage with in and out. And I went to Colorado for the first time and got an extensive time above the navel Kretschmann, the Air Force Academy and at West Point, which a lot of midshipmen don't actually get to dio on. And I had just these phenomenal opportunities to traverse a country I've gone on. But I'll have to say that my favorite memory of all time that was performing in our centennial year tailgates before the football games. And we've got to do a special march on as well with an information to kick off the entire brigade, getting onto the field for March on for football games during my senior year. So those special grounds just allowed us to really feed off of our our alumni community and to play it tailgates for Navy fans before kicking off the football, the football events and it was just a really good time because we saw face to face appreciation of a lot of our efforts. And then I would be remiss to knit, to not mention that we won Army Army Navy all four years of my time at the academy and got to perform in all the half times and my senior year. We played a Beyonce, a field time or field show, which, uh, was my personal greatest achievement for

Grant:   29:00
Ah, I love those. All of those are fantastic answers, and I personally want to say how awesome it is when you guys are up in enemy territory at West Point because I was lucky enough during my time playing basketball. For whatever reason, we always played great at West Point. It was always a little more shaky at the Naval Academy, but we always played great at West Point. And there's no better feeling than running over to our section and sing in blue and gold, played by DnB up in the in the top, the top section of the stands, um, and and singing second at West Point. That is always a great feeling. So, uh,

Andrea:   29:40
absolutely Well, there's a little bit of extra spice to it when you get through West Point Jim.

Grant:   29:46
Oh, absolutely. Oh, yeah. It's real spicy all the time. Yeah, yeah, you're screaming. You're screaming Beat army just about as loud as you possibly can. And I

Andrea:   29:54
know you love it. Just moment,

Grant:   29:58
huh? A man. All right, so one of the one of the last things I do want to talk about that was a little bit more about your role. Um, as the corps commander for D m. B. So you mentioned that it really is like a whole another company structure within the brigade. You have, ah, company commander and XO, and you have all of these collateral billets is well, as the commander of the M B. What was your role? What was your responsibility? Was there any additional time commitment that came with just the ordinary time commitment? I wouldn't say ordinary, but the normal time commitment of being in d and B. And, um, I guess we'll just start there with what is your role as the commander when you're incharge DnB?

Andrea:   30:51
Yeah, Dean, Corps commander is a huge leadership challenge because you're another entity that is trying to cultivate the academic visible success for your members while also being tasked with a unique level authority for planning trips external to the Naval Academy. So you're balancing all the traditional man demands that you see within a company. Um, but you're also than dealing with all of the different company commanders at company officers around the yard as well. A CZ knew that the traditional interactions that you have to have is well with the academic stuff whenever you're taking the chipping away from classes. And so my operations officer and I were scheduling. I mean us, us, as in Shipman or scheduling hotels. Lights birdie, um, enter a instrument shipping or four times over 100 people are chips because the bigger games were all hands evolution, super going Army, Navy or their dame or, you know, Air Force. Then we respected to get everybody from place to place. We would meet with our civilian counterparts. Um, Mister, Mister, we're who's the musical director and his assistant would meet with him at lunch. A swell a czar, officer representative. It's a couple times a week, and we would go over the details of you know, what we had to accomplish that week and then how we were going to plan forward for our future trips, and I can. This there's nobility in the brigade that achieved so many trips and performances with such little oversight, and that really came to tow light for me when I would travel with, like, for instance, the gospel Choir or, um, you know, any other academic interest club or the Jewish and Shipment Club for me, there are so many more hands in the pot for other organizations, and I guess, based off of the the relationship that D. M. V has developed over time and the ability of midshipmen who were my predecessors to step up and fill his bowl. We have continued toe act in such a fashion that the midshipmen are getting this incredible operational exposure to what it takes to run a massive organization and to get people from place to place across the country. So as a result, in that hit, men have to truly step up and take on this external responsibility that is so unique in the brigade and R selection. For those higher level bill, it'd be a court occurs at the end of our junior year, there's a portal will be process, just like company Bill it's, um I put in my name for court manner with one of my really great friends and supporters who wanted to be my executive officer and soapy way we're not had been allowed. We put in a joint recommendation for I mean at that point, right? The staff is so familiar with the personalities that are involved with the Indy. They knew that a pretty good fit to be the fall, the fall from the staff. And then we switched out in the spring as well. So pretty much every every first Boston shipment is involved with you, something to get back to the organization and where there are gaps are motivated. Second class will step in and fill the role and then, organizationally, looking down Thio even at a lower level as 1/3 class and shipment, I was the euphonium squad leader, which meant that I did orchestrate practices for us and that I was responsible for getting people from place to place. Is reviewing these movement orders and that's a again, a pretty unique opportunity to step up as a youngster of the Academy into be responsible for people, not even in the context of the the walls of the Naval Cabinet. But to make sure that people are behaving responsibly on these highly visible trips.

Grant:   34:44
Yeah, absolutely. It truly is a special opportunity, Um, and a great leadership opportunity that the fact that you it's still constantly amaze me, as you tell me the fact that you were in charge of, like, planning travel for, like, hundreds of its human as a midshipman. This is absolutely wild today, but you know more, more power to you get you get, definitely learn a lot when you put an opportunities like that.

Andrea:   35:12
I just have these things memories of, you know, my my really good company. May Anton Beckman, who was also task like just as an example of how crazy DVD could be. And I were also task, um, to be we kind of jointly took on the role of squad leader to within our company. And so, you know, we were doing an interview with our pleads for pro No. One minute, and then the next minute we're sitting down and looking at Hell's outside of New York City for Army Navy basketball. Like how I think this hotel it's awesome vices. So telling you know, like I just remember that. No, we both just sat back nearly. This is so cool that we get to d o used to be like, Yeah, let's fall outside of your city are going to stay in for like for this upcoming weekend. So, um but yeah, and you throw that in it and already mix of burdens that you have to take on us and a chin it. But it was definitely one of the most fulfilling things that I was able to do a while at the academy and the adventures in places that I saw, I would have never read about the organization. Yeah, would travel on these movement orders to and to do these trips while the sports teams are very much so, you know, restricted and have to focus on There were hard to go, have fun. And I always thought that was just such a relief that, you know, the the time that you put in was very much to greeted with the ability to travel and relax and to explore these new parts of the country. But you can't credibly unique.

Grant:   36:47
Absolutely a can't confirm what we would go on road trips that has absolutely be from the hotel to the gym, Back to the hotel, back to campus. Oh, so that's ah way Awesome opportunity when we talk about all these awesome opportunities that DnB is provided to you to travel and perform at thes um, amazing venues and do really cool things. What other kind of opportunities would you say that d and be opened for you at the Naval Academy? What kind of doors? What kind of place is that? It did it get you that you might not have gotten, uh, otherwise, if you're not part of d m

Andrea:   37:25
b d m B is still a great leadership leadership accession half. And so by that I mean that I still got to go to the superintendent banquets like the other company commanders and to do that. But shipping yacht cruise on the superintendent's no less. Not that he has, but more so than them had tangible benefits that you get Is this large reaching network of midshipmen that you cultivate into your own personal support structure. I think I like that enough. Thio have a far reaching hand across every company in the brigade and to know people in every company is something that just pays dividends specially and it's so fulfilling and rewarding because you meet friends of friends of friends of friends and get thio, know your classmates better and get to actually have a far reaching relationship to the classes ahead and behind you. That's that's super special because the best part of the academy are the people there. And so getting exposure to so many people is the rial gift that D and B gives back to its members.

Grant:   38:41
Nice. That's a very sentimental answer, and I love it. I have ah, ah, warmhearted sitting over here. Listen into it. You provided just threw this conversation. So far, so many awesome reasons that people should join DnB if they're interested. But what would you say for all of our audience out there that are still potentially candidates at the academy or high school students trying to decide what they want to do with the Academy Nebula? Musically inclined, maybe not, but maybe interested in D and B. What would you say a. D b enlarge for anyone who may be on the fence about whether or not to join on kind of what would you tell them

Andrea:   39:20
music is a window to exercise another side of your brain and your whole persona development. We all understand the mission of the needle cavalry and know that there is a moral, mental and physical obligation on every midshipman, and I think I mentioned it earlier. But toe add in this musical and arts and culture element of your personality is a great personal development toll in something that brings you together with people both across the brigade and across the country. And furthermore, it gives Midshipman the opportunity to develop a family across the brigade which other organizations have a more difficult time providing were on the fence. If you want to do something that gives you another outlet to express who you are and to develop yourself as a person, then Dean be is an incredibly unique opportunity to do so

Grant:   40:22
awesome. Ah, Major, thank you so much. Because you're a repeat offender here on academy insider. We're not gonna hop into the lightning round of questions because you've already answered them. Um, but I do just want to say thank you so much for taking the time again to come on and explain the M B because in all honestly and me being forthcoming, I even after four years, the academy didn't know much about DnB And a lot of this information that you gave us today, I didn't know. And so now I know. And I really appreciate taking the time to do this. Um, because you guys are awesome and I honestly think you're underappreciated. So I really wanted to get out and let you have the opportunity to talk all about d m B for the future, present and past of the N B. And just give you the opportunity to share that. And I just can't thank you enough for coming on and doing doing just that.

Andrea:   41:12
Maybe so much that he said most well, don't know the mysteries of D and D and how we actually get from taking new people Thio, a polished product that we can put in front of a brigade. And while the brigade always will like to tease DnB and anger at half not throughout that football games information without Devi, it would be missing a really strong traditional element of of Naval academy performances and of Naval Academy games. And so, like I said, Well, sometimes you being get teased. Ultimately, we do have a presence and a role that I think could be really sorely missed. If, for some reason D and B no longer existed,

Grant:   41:55
I couldn't agree more. Absolutely. All right, well, thank you so much again. Ah, and I really appreciate you. I appreciate you coming on, academy insider. It always truly is a pleasure having you.

Andrea:   42:07
It is a pleasure to be a repeat offender, and I hope I could be. So what? Keep doing what you do, Grant. You know, we all support.

Grant:   42:14
I appreciate it. Have a great day. All right. Thanks to the academy inside our audience, I hope you really enjoyed it. And, Ah, look forward. Talk to you guys soon. Thanks. Thank you all so much for listening to the podcast. I hope you learned a little bit about D M. B. Please make sure you leave me review on iTunes and subscribe to the academy inside a podcast. If you want to learn more about the United States Naval Academy, make sure to go to my web page. Www dot academy insider dot com where you can find articles, block posts videos, other kinds of content, all about them. Instrument experience, the United States Naval Academy Or you could go to my Facebook page academy insider. Any links we discussed in this show are listed in the show notes and again, I'm grand for me or your academy insider and thank you so much for letting me be your guide to the United States Naval Academy.