January 8, 2009

MOS - life in the 188th Army Band as a musican

North Dakota National Guardsmen and women have duty one weekend a month keeping fit and ready if the call comes from state or nation. That duty involves the usual – shooting weapons, getting down in the dirt, running obstacle courses and playing some good old rockin’ roll.

Huh? It’s not the typical Military Occupational Specialty that comes to mind when thinking about these weekend warriors, but it’s just part of the job for a group of 52 talented musicians, all members of the 188th Army Band stationed in Fargo.

The larger band is on occasion split into smaller touring groups at times to portray different styles of music from concert, Dixieland, marching, country and rock. A talented group of six country and rock musicians/vocalists entertained Beulah and Hazen High School students Monday with a concert that kept feet and fingers tapping.

Performing among this group of musicians is Hazen resident Troy Johnson, the band’s percussionist. A crane operator "by day" putting up wind towers in the Center area as well as other areas in and out of state, he is a seven-year weekend warrior. When not on duty with the National Guard, Troy is also a husband to wife, Darcy, and father to four daughters aged 12 to1 month.

His group of merry musicians also includes music teachers, a Microsoft analyst, a college student and an audio technician in civilian life. The road crew also includes drivers, a soundman and crew, totaling 15. Performing with Troy on Monday were band director and keyboard player 1st Sgt. Dan Nagle, Spc. Joshua Peterson on guitar and saxophone, Staff Sgt. Lynn Krug as lead vocalist, Sgt. Kevin Krug on bass and guitarist Sgt. Kevin Kosiak.

The entourage has spent this week, one of the required two weeks of annual training, on the road touring and performing at schools in the state, as they have the past three years,

Troy’s gig as a musician is his fourth MOS with the Guard. Prior to the band he was a canonier, heavy equipment operator and a helicopter refueler. Becoming a band member isn’t an easy task, Sgt. Dan Pfingsten said. Not just anyone can join the band. Dan said in the past three years the band has been traveling across

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