AMM was founded in 1986 by a group of U.S. military bandsmen who had decided, more or less on a lark, to just have a “get-together.” Most of these guys ‘n gals happened to be retired from the military, hence the original name “Association of Retired Military Musicians” or ARMM. The idea took root in the American Southeast and most of the Reunions took place in that area for a number of years.
As virtually all of the founding members were retired military bandsmen, it made sense to lean in the “retired” direction. But that “retired” handle proved to be a little confusing to those considering membership because it seemed that one must be a military retiree and a musician before one could join. This was, and is, patently untrue. The only outward requirement for membership was to have served honorably in a military music ensemble (band, orchestra, chorus, fife & drum corps, etc.) as a performing musician or support member, regardless of length of service.
In 2011, the membership approved the name change from the “Association of Retired Military Musicians” to the “Association of Military Musicians” in an effort to reduce or eliminate that confusion.
While the bulk of AMM is comprised of current and former U.S. Army musicians, the organization does have members from the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force. We’ve just recently snagged our first couple of Marine bandsmen, and and we’re definitely not above pulling in members from other countries as long as the member meets the requirements as stated in our Bylaws (to be posted here soon).
AMM is a fellowship of men and women who have served, and continue to serve, in military music ensembles and thus are interested in preserving the proud tradition of military music. We are primarily a fraternal organization, but actively seek ways to strengthen our communities and each other.
As military musicians, we saw a lot, endured a lot, enjoyed a lot in our days of service. Some of us are still serving on Active, Reserve, or National Guard status. That experience continues to draw us together and we remain a close-knit group. We also continue to serve in all manner of ways, whether as a Bugler for our local VFW or as a Volunteer in our regional VA Medical Center. We find joy in bringing that same sense of duty, honor, and faithful service that we displayed in years past right through to today.
You may download a copy of AMM’s Bylaws here.