John D. Lee
Drum Major, April 11, 1989-Nov. 23, 1994
John D. Lee joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in April 1989 as the band’s 35th Drum Major.
After graduation from Kosciusko High School in 1958, Lee attended Holmes Junior College in Goodman, Miss. He was a percussionist in both the high school and junior college bands. In 1960, Lee joined the United States Marine Corps and, after recruit and infantry training, reported to Parris Island, S.C., as a percussionist. After four years of service Lee left the Marine Corps.
In 1968, Lee rejoined the Marine Corps and was assigned to the 3d Marine Division Band in Quang Tri, South Vietnam. He was posted at the Drum Major of the 3d Marine Division Band in June 1969. In October 1970 he transferred to Camp Pendleton, Calif., as a percussionist in the 1st Marine Division Band. From November 1971- December 1973 Lee was a recruiter in Hattiesburg, Miss. He returned to the 3d Marine Division Band in January 1974 and served there as a percussionist until May 1975 when he received orders to the 2d Marine Division Band at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He performed there as a percussionist until December 1976. In January 1977 he assumed the duties of Drum Major and held that position until his transfer to the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing Band in New Orleans in 1978. He performed as a percussionist until 1981. Lee served as the assistant Drum Major in the 3d Marine Amphibious Force Band during 1981-82. In January 1983 he returned to the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing Band--this time as its Drum Major. He transferred to Quantico, Va., in May 1988 where he served as Drum Major. In September 1988 he auditioned for and won the position as the Drum Major of "The President's Own." He was posted as the Drum Major of the Marine Band on April 11, 1989, and served until his retirement on Nov. 23, 1994.