Warrant Officer Prerequisites and Duty Description
420C - Bandmaster
Warrant officer bandmasters (military occupational specialty (MOS) 420C) are responsible for the unit-level command and control of their bands. Responsibilities include Uniform Code of Military Justice authority, administration, operations, training, and supply. In addition, band commanders will advise higher echelon commanders on local band matters such as organization, operation, committing procedures, planning of training, and facilities.
They serve as the command subject matter expert on all matters pertaining to music, and advise senior commanders on the most effective way to employ the band’s subordinate music support teams in support of operations. Bandmasters appoint Army musicians to leadership and staff positions within the unit, and evaluate the physical and acoustical limitations of performance sites, length of the events supported, resources available, and determine the size and instrumentation of musical groups used in support of authorized commitments. Duties also include to prepare annual budgets for the unit that include, as a minimum, funds to maintain and replace MTOE/CTA/TDA equipment and uniform items required for mission success, procure expendable musical supplies, sheet music, and recordings, and budget TDY travel for Army band officers, warrant officer bandmasters, the band senior sergeant, and other band members to attend the annual Army Band Leaders Training, music clinics, seminars, and other band-related events to ensure professional development of all unit personnel.
Minimum Prerequisites: In addition to the prerequisite USAREC Administrative Requirements for all Warrant Officer applicants, the following proponent prerequisites apply:
  • SSG or above (RA); SGT(P) or above (ARNG and USAR)
  • At least seven years, but less than twelve (12) years, Active Federal Service (RA)
  • Five years of operational experience as a 42R or 42S
  • Five years of NCO experience
  • 42R MOS ALC graduate
  • A score of 30 or higher on the Army Musician Proficiency Assessment (AMPA), documented in AERs (1059s) or Commander’s Letter of Recommendation (USAREC form 3.3)
  • Bachelor’s degree
Preferred Prerequisites:
  • Bachelor’s or Master's degree in Music
  • Two years of experience leading a small instrumental performing group, or three years practicing music education in public or private schools
  • At least three years of experience in Army band support activities such as administration, operations, and/or supply. (Demonstrated excellence should be annotated clearly on applicant NCOERs and/or Senior WO Letter of Recommendation.)
Other Required Documents. In addition to the conducting video requirements below, applicants must provide digital copies of the following documents, as their component requires (preferably in one file, PDF format). (ARNG applicants should refer to the National Guard Warrant Officer Predetermination Checklist from their State for variances from the list below.):
  • DA Form 61 (with valid HT/WT and APFT statement signed by CO CDR in Block 41)
  • USAREC form 3.2 Resume – (ensure the summary page is completed)
  • USAREC form 3.3 #1 Band Commander Letter of Recommendation (or applicable First Level UCMJ authority)
  • USAREC form 3.3 #2 Band First Sergeant Letter of Recommendation.
  • USAREC form 3.3 #3 Battalion Commander Letter of Recommendation (or applicable Second Level UCMJ authority)
  • USAREC form 3.3 #4 Field Grade/Senior Field Grade (CW3-CW5) 420C Letter of Recommendation (If the applicant’s Commander is a Senior Field Grade 420C, one LOR will suffice for both requirements (#1 and #4); however, additional SFG 420C LORs to strengthen your packet will be accepted.
  • ERB/SRB (used to verify DOB, GT, AFS, ETS, and ASI C1)
  • All NCOERs from the previous ten years in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest)
  • All AERs (1059s) in reverse chronological order
  • College Transcript(s) (Official or Unofficial)
  • Copies of Professional Certificates, e.g., state teacher’s certificate, if applicable
  • All applicable Supporting Documents section of Warrant Officer Application Checklist 
  • Warrant Officer Application packets are accepted year-round but must be submitted through the applicant’s State or Readiness Division (RD) WO Strength Manager or Recruiting Team. (i.e., RC applications sent directly to the Proponent without first being submitted through their State or RD will not be reviewed.)
  • RC Warrant Officer Candidates will attend WOCS before their WOBC date (currently starting in June and September each year).
  • ARNG applicants, for more information and component-specific requirements, please visit: https://recruiting.army.mil/ISO/AWOR/National-Guard/
  • USAR applicants, for more information and component-specific requirements, please visit: https://recruiting.army.mil/ISO/AWOR/Active-Guard-Reserve/
Other Resources:
Notice of intent to apply. Potential applicants should contact the Chief, Army Bands Proponency, to advise of their intention to apply. Additionally, applicants should directly communicate questions about prerequisites and/or the application process to proponent.

Address all warrant officer application questions and inquiries to a Regional Warrant Officer Recruiter.  Please visit the "How Do I Apply" page for required forms and examples. Contact the proponent POCs below for any questions regarding technical qualifications.

CW5 Russell J. Houser

Last Update: 12 July 2023