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News | April 1, 2020

The Army's Musical Outreach Team launches into digital performances

By Amanda Surmeier USAREC Public Affairs

The Army’s musical outreach team, As You Were, has transitioned from life on the road to life online during this time of social distancing.

The team, consisting of three highly skilled professional Army musicians, will be releasing content across its social media platforms to continue connecting today’s youth with their Army in a unique way.

Typically spending about 200 days a year on the road, As You Were performs at high schools, sporting events and music festivals across the U.S. in support of recruiting efforts. The team tells the Army story through the experience of live music, opening the eyes of potential future Soldiers in unexpected ways to serve their country.

“Digital space has always been important for bands to utilize, but this unique time has made it all the more essential to engage with people all across the country and tell the Army story one note at a time,” said Sgt. Tom Katsiyiannis, the team's guitarist and singer. “Our mission is to change perceptions; we allow people to see a different, lesser-known side of the Army through music and entertainment.”

In the past couple of weeks, the band has been hard at work engaging the public in the digital space, sharing behind the scenes content, hosting live music sets and concert streams, and releasing a music video for the first track of their debut album, “Set Yourself Apart.”

Previously, the bulk of the music the team played was popular song covers, but they have been diligently working on an original album which they are releasing today. The extended play features five songs, all written and performed by the band. Each of the tracks brings a unique style of music, highlighting the range and professionalism of the musicians.

“Our debut original album not only gives us our own, unique identity, but also paves the way for many more opportunities within the music industry and the entertainment world,” Katsiyiannis said.

The team will be holding a listening party this evening at 6 p.m. EDT on Facebook Premier and Instagram Live. In addition, people will be able to hear the new music during a live stream concert April 3 at 6 p.m., and check out more behind the scenes content about the making of the album in the weekly content on the team’s Facebook, YouTube and Instagram pages at @aywmusic.

In the coming weeks, the team will also be sharing content that includes interviews with the band members, music lessons, and information about how to download their new songs.

“Our goal is to change the stigma that all jobs in the Army are combat related,” Katsiyiannis said. “As evidence through As You Were, there are many different options and career paths available.”