Alumni Spotlight: Scott Kelly

This 2008 alum is likely one of the greatest ambassadors to the All-American program. Scott is the first alumni to make it to a commissioned officer status, meaning Scott has earned his college degree. Scott has a list of accomplishments since his time in the USAAAMB. He graduated from Penn State in 2012 and achieved Ranger status this past year. He recently earned his EIB (Expert Infantryman Badge). We are honored to have him featured in the alumni newsletter this month!


Joining the Army was a decision Scott made in order to better himself. “I didn’t like the idea that someone else was willing to do more to help me than I was, so I joined and then volunteered for the infantry,” he stated. Within this past year, Scott has attended and completed Ranger School, a grueling experience that few conquer. Less than 1% of the U.S. Army is Ranger qualified. Scott explained the process in his interview. “Ranger School is the Army’s premier leadership and small unit tactics school. Students spend 62 days training and operating in a simulated combat environment, under conditions of extended food and sleep deprivation. After passing an initial three day evaluation consisting of a physical fitness test, obstacle course, day and night land navigation, combative (unarmed combat), water confidence test, and 12 mile road march they move on to tactical training. For this, students conduct numerous reconnaissance, raid, and ambush missions on wooded, mountainous, and swamp terrain. Sleeping an hour or less a night and eating one meal a day is normal, as is carrying loads in excess of 100lbs. Roughly 1 in 3 students complete the course, those who do will lose between 20 and 30lbs by the end. ”

Scott’s intense description of Ranger School coincides with all of the structured goals he has put forth for himself post high school. Attaining his college degree, joining the infantry, becoming a Ranger and earning his EIB are all just a part of the beginning.

Many alumni that are featured are asked to explain how band has affected their professional career. His explanation is one of a kind.

He stated, “Everything I needed to be successful in the Army, I learned in band.

I learned that to be early was to be on time, to be on time was to be late, and to be late was unacceptable.

I learned to always have my pencil and a place to take notes. I learned repetition was the only way to ensure proficiency, and physical and mental talent meant nothing compared to consistent, well-disciplined practice and rehearsal.

I learned to always check my uniform and packing list of equipment before a gig, and that enough duct tape could fix anything.

I learned to wait patiently and quietly for my director during a 5-hour rehearsal block where we never actually got to the part of music where I actually played (and I learned not be bitter about it).

I learned the difficulty and importance of coordinating assets in time and space.

I learned I was only as valuable as my contribution to the group.

Some of my old friends from my band days and some of my new Army buddies are surprised that I went from band to the Army and now the infantry; but, being in band was the best thing I could have ever done to prepare for it. Now, that being said… {lR rL..lR rL //////// R rl}.”

What a way to describe all of the values that a student musician can bring to this world as a young professional! Scott is an unstoppable force in his list of goals. His next responsibility is to take over a Heavy Weapons Platoon in a few weeks. He is preparing for a deployment to the Joint Readiness Training Center in January. Eventually, he hopes to work towards his PhD in International Diplomacy.



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