(From left to right) The U.S. Air Force Band Manager Chief Master Sgt. Craig LeDoux, the Band's commander and conductor, Col. Larry H. Lang present Chief Master Sgt. Barbara Taylor with a shadow box representing her 30-year military career. (Photo by retired Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Rob Mesite)
by Chief Master Sgt. Jenn Pagnard
The U.S. Air Force Band
9/17/2012 - JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, D.C. -- On Aug. 23, The United States Air Force Band paid tribute to 30 years of service at a retirement ceremony honoring Chief Master Sgt. Barbara S. Taylor in Gabriel Hall. The ceremony was officiated by the Band's commander and conductor Col. Larry H. Lang.
Lang had high praise for Taylor's military service saying, "She is fiercely and unrelentingly committed to our profession of arms and has proudly worn the Marine and Air Force uniforms for 30 years--her entire adult life." Commenting about her impressive leadership and mentorship, he said, "She is someone who will boldly speak the truth when few would dare to--someone who will unabashedly fight for what is right and good with all of the passion and intellect she can muster. She recruited me into the Air Force in 1990 and has been a wonderful mentor and friend for 22 years."
Taylor is so appreciative to all those who were involved with the ceremony. She is especially grateful to the event organizer saying, "Special thanks to Chief Carl Long for orchestrating the entire event. It was a truly memorable occasion for me and my family."
Taylor's military career began in 1982 when she enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. After basic training and training at the Navy School of Music, she was assigned to the Marine Band at Quantico Marine Corps Development and Education Command in Va. In the summer of 1986, she was chosen to become an Air Force band officer. Upon commissioning, she became the deputy commander and associate conductor of the Air Combat Command Heartland of America Band at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., and in 1987, became the band's commander and conductor. She then was selected as the commander and conductor of the 502nd Air Force Band at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. in 1989. Then, Captain (select) Taylor chose to resign her commission.
She subsequently re-entered the Air Force as a staff sergeant and was assigned to the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, Va. While there, Taylor performed as a euphonium and vocal soloist. Additionally, she worked in the operations office at Langley, serving as the band's director of operations from October 1995 until her reassignment to The United States Air Force Band in January 1997.
Before her current assignment with The United States Air Force Band, Taylor served as the Band's chief of public affairs administration, assistant to the director of operations for special actions and superintendent of finance, unit deployment monitor, commander's support staff manager, executive officer to the commander, broadcast and technical support manager, and chief of supply. Additionally, she served as the U.S. Air Force Central Command Band superintendent from June to October 2008.
Speaking about her military career, "It has been privilege and a blessing to serve my country in this unique way. The thirty years have gone by very quickly. I would do it all over again if given the opportunity."
Taylor's official date of retirement is Nov. 1, 2012. She and her family will remain in the Washington, D.C. area.