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Marine Band Drum Major Charles R. Jimerson
Biography of Marine Band Drum Major Charles R. Jimerson

Charles R. Jimerson served as the 33rd Drum Major of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band.

Charles Ray Jimerson was born Oct. 19, 1938, in El Paso, Texas. He attended Douglass Elementary, a segregated school for blacks, before transferring to Austin High School and becoming the first African-American student to graduate. He attended Texas Western (now the University of Texas at El Paso) before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps at age 19. 

While stationed in Honolulu, he served as a guard at the memorial site of the U.S.S. Arizona. The U.S. Marine Band appointed him Assistant Drum Major on April 1, 1969 and Co-Drum Major in 1972. He served in this capacity for two years before transferring to Camp Pendleton in California.  

Master Sergeant Jimerson went on to serve in Okinawa, Japan. When his tour of duty expired, he retired after 20 years and returned to El Paso.