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“The President’s Own”

United States Marine Band

Lieutenant Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Venerando Pulizzi

Venerando Pulizzi

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson suggested to then-Commandant of the Marine Corps William Ward Burrows that Italian musicians be enlisted in the Marine Corps and added to the current Marine Band. Commandant Burrows sent Captain John Hall to southern Italy where American ships were stationed during the war with Tripoli. After arriving in Sicily, Captain Hall eventually enlisted Gaetano Carusi, a local band leader, and 15 other musicians in Feb. 1805. Twelve-year old Venerando Pulizzi was among this group and likely a music student of Carusi.

The musicians arrived in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 19, 1805. Pulizzi was promoted to Fife Major in June 9, 1812, and served as acting Leader/Drum Major from Oct. 17, 1816, until John Powley enlisted. Pulizzi resumed the duties of acting Leader/Drum Major until he was officially promoted to Leader/Drum Major on July 24, 1824. He served with the band until Sept. 3, 1827.