With generals crying in Congress about personnel and equipment shortages, it should be a shock to the taxpaying public that wasteful spending has not yet been wrung out and translated into value-added capital. Not by a longshot.
Stars and Stripes reports that a recent GAO study documented $1.37B in spending on salaries for military band members between 2012 and 2016. This doesn’t even include equipment, travel, and other associated expenses.
It’s encouraging that others are starting to notice what we’ve been arguing for years at JQP: that these vestigial remains of an overgrown military establishment have no place in a lighter, leaner, more purpose-built military.
There are two reasons bands still exist. First, they’re good at advocating for their own existence, albeit with dishonest and laughable rationale. Second, and more importantly, they’re a vanity project for generals who feel more important sauntering through public events to the sound of their own theme music.
Chalk one of up for government accountants and common sense, two camps who so rarely agree.
See Also: JQP Band Archives.