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Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Navy League accounting staffer James Darby recently opted to end his employment with us for one of the most exciting reasons we could imagine: He joined one of the sea services.

A prolific trombonist, James enlisted in the Marine Corps and will serve in the Marine Corps band. We sat down with him to get his parting thoughts as a Navy Leaguer and what the transition to sea service member will be like.James-Darby-smaller-version

1. What made you decide to join the Marines?

I decided to join the Marines to have the opportunity to serve our nation while perusing my passion for music and following the footsteps of legendary Marine musicians like John Phillip Sousa to jazz musician Ellis Marsalis.

2. Have you had any family members serve in the sea services before this?

No. However, my dad served in the Army and my brother served in the Air Force.

3. How has your time in the Navy League influenced your decision to join the Marines?

My time in the Navy League influenced my decision to join the Marines, because I was able gain insight on how this very organization supports and advocate for our sea service men and women and their families. Knowing that such an organization exists, such as the Navy League, gave me peace of mind knowing that I have a strong force of support in a greater capacity, in addition to my family and friends.

4. What will you be doing in the Marines?

I will be a part of the Marine Corps musical unit playing trombone.  

5. What is your musical background, and what experiences inspired you to join the Marine Corps band?

I’ve been playing trombone since the 6th grade. Throughout my development as a musician, I’ve performed in various types of ensembles. Some of which include concert bands, full orchestras, brass ensembles, brass bands, jazz bands, trombone quartets, marching bands and [I have] also performed as a solo musician. I’ve also had the opportunity to perform for and with professional artist, such Tye Tribbett, Dottie Peoples and Micah Stampley, just to name a few.

The Marine Corps Band is my favorite out of all the service bands. I first became interested in the Marine Corps band while in high school when I had the opportunity to see them perform at the John F. Kennedy Center in concert. It was an amazing experience, as I had never heard a band sound that great! I’ve also been to various Marine Corp Band concerts here in the D.C. area. … These experiences inspired and helped me believe that one day I would have the opportunity to become a Marine musician. That opportunity is now!

6. How are you preparing for basic training?

I’ve always been physically active. I make sure I’m able to meet/exceed the physical requirements needed.

7. What have you learned about the sea services and the Navy League’s mission since you started working here?

The Navy League's mission helped me learn that the spouses of the sea services play a vital role in lives of our service men and women.

8. Do you plan on staying in contact with the Navy League while serving in the Marine Corps band?


9. What will you miss the most about working at the Navy League?

What I will miss most about working at the Navy League is the invaluable experience it has provided me professionally as well as the knowledge I gained about the sea services.