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Marine Band Drum Major Gary A. Petersen
Biography of Marine Band Drum Major Gary A. Petersen

Gary A. Petersen was appointed 34th Drum Major of the Marine Band in December 1984. A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Master Sergeant Petersen is the second person in Marine Corps history to have held the position of Drum Major for both the United States Marine Band and the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. Both of these units are located at the oldest post of the Marine Corps, Marine Barracks Washington.

Petersen enlisted in the Marine Corps following his graduation from Highland High School in Salt Lake City in 1969.

In 1971 he joined the 2nd Marine Division Band at Camp Lejeune, N.C., as a trombonist. He graduated from the Armed Forces School of Music in Little Creek, Va., in 1973. Petersen was assigned to bands in El Toro, Calif.; Okinawa, Japan; and Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C.

In January 1983, Peterson won the position of Drum Major in "The Commandant's Own" U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. Two years later he won the audition to become the Drum Major of "The President's Own."