Army & Navy Union Band

posted Mar 9, 2017, 9:38 AM by Dean Dyer   [ updated Apr 14, 2017, 6:50 AM ]

13 Apr 2017:  We are now in the process of forming the Army & Navy Union Band.  One of the main purposes of the band will be to preserve and commemorate U.S. military music history.

If you are a musician and a veteran or relative of a veteran and interested in joining us, please send us your contact info along with what instrument you play on our Contact Us page.  

We have some very exciting plans for this band and hope you'll consider joining us!

TubaChristmas Middletown

posted Nov 20, 2015, 12:37 PM by Dean Dyer   [ updated Dec 7, 2015, 12:59 PM ]

Garrision #302 is coordinating Middletown, Delaware's 1st TubaChristmas event.  It was a natural union as several of our members have been performing TubaChristmas for over 30 years.  Our own Comrade Ed Hockersmith will conduct the performance!
Complete info is available on our FaceBook event page.
Register online here:

TubaChristmas is a free outdoors concert for the public
11 Dec 2015 @ 7pm (performance time - performers, see schedule below)
SW corner of Town Square in Middletown, DE (intersection of Main & Broad Streets)

$10 - Registration @ Grace Presbyterian Church, 13 Pennington St, Middletown, DE
- you can register online with us so all you need do is pay when you show up and you'll get on our list for future events:

$20 - TubaChristmas Music book will be sold at registration desk (if you don't have from previous years)

Location: (see map below to make your plans)
"Town Square", Middletown, DE
This is an outdoor, evening performance, dress accordingly.
If you need a music stand, be sure to bring one. Chairs will be available for those who need to sit.

Schedule for performers (subject to change)
4:00pm - registration
5:30pm - rehearsal
6:30pm - break / walk to performance site
7:00pm - TubaChristmas
- Conducted by Ed Hockersmith, past commander of the 287th Army Band, Delaware Army National Guard

We will have a small supply of hats and scarves - if you want to be sure to get one in time you can order direct from TubaChristmas

You can download the updated flyer below if you'd like to help spread the word!

click map to enlarge

National Commander's Report: May 2015

posted Jun 10, 2015, 8:22 PM by Dean Dyer

I hope everyone is well and enjoying some deserved warm spring weather.  It was a great honor to represent the ANU at the White House and Arlington on Veterans Day November 2014.  I had the privilege of presenting a Pearl Harbor survivor his life membership at the Pearl Harbor observance in Ohio.  Hopefully I can get out and visit a soon as I get through some health issues.  Thank you for all the well wishes.  I am looking forward to the National Encampment in Gatlinburg.  Hope to see a BIG turnout, take care of business and relax in the mountains.  
Be safe, God bless our families and troops, Support your Garrisons!

Virgil A. Jones
National Commander
Army & Navy Union USA

Comrade Hockersmith Inducted Into Delaware National Guard Hall Of Fame

posted May 8, 2015, 7:32 AM by Dean Dyer   [ updated May 12, 2015, 1:51 PM ]

A near capacity crowd gathered in the conference center at Bethany Beach Training Site on the afternoon of May 3rd, 2015.  Distinguished officers, warrant officers and noncommissioned officers were about to be inducted into the Delaware National Guard Hall of Fame.  
CW5 (Ret) Charles E. Hockersmith, an officer of Army & Navy Union Garrison #302, was inducted in recognition of his long and distinguished service as commander of the 287th Army Band. 

Hockersmith enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1965 as a Tuba Player (02F).  He served in two different bands and left the Army as a Specialist 5 in 1968.
Returning home, he enrolled at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in 1969 graduating in 1973 with a Bachelor's Degree in English and Library Science.  After graduation, he worked as a Librarian for Christina School District from 1973 to 1980.   
Hockersmith then enlisted in the 287th Army Band, Delaware Army National Guard in October 1978.  In 1981, he was promoted to Sergeant First Class and assigned as Brass Group Leader.  Within a year, Charles Hockersmith was a warrant officer and commander of the 287th Army Band. 
Hockersmith was awarded the Captain Robert Kirkwood Award for his success in leading the 287th to new levels of proficiency and readiness.
Hockersmith was recruited to serve full-time as the first Drug Demand Reduction Officer in the Delaware National Guard.  Along with Governor Carper, he developed the HOST Program (Help One Student to Succeed) Mentor program.  During this time he also supported the Delaware National Guard Emergency Management program, operated the State Emergency Operations Center and worked with Wilmington Police as liaison for military support as needed till 1999.
Hockersmith returned to school in 1996 at Syracuse University, graduating in 2000 with a Master’s Degree in Library Science.  He went on to earn his Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware in 2010.
In 2002, Hockersmith was requested to join the Army Bands Reserve Component Strategic Council.  He was then appointed as FORSCOM Deputy Reserve Component Staff Bands Officer for First U.S. Army (West) in 2007.  During this time he helped develop the Music Performance Team structure which became part of the Force Design Update in May 2006.  This structure design focused on expanding capabilities of bands by organizing them into smaller deployable mission support teams which is now the standard for all Army Bands. 
On 4 July 2007, Hockersmith was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer 5 by Major General Vavala in Dover, Delaware in front of the entire Independence Day audience which had gathered for the concert by the 287th Army Band and fireworks.  When he retired in October 2008, he had served 33 years in uniform and left a legacy of excellence.  He mentored countless Soldiers, inspired audiences around the world, built a unit from nothing, and helped change the entire organization and structure of Army Bands. 

Major General Vavala presents the certificate of induction
to CW5 (Ret) Hockersmith

Comrade Hockersmith poses with Garrison #302 Commander Dyer
after the ceremony

National Commander's Report: Nov 2014

posted Nov 18, 2014, 10:30 PM by Dean Dyer   [ updated May 5, 2015, 8:59 AM ]

As we begin another year, I would like to congratulate all of the newly elected officers at all levels.  
I'm very happy to announce that we have a new Garrison 302 in Wilmington, Delaware.  There is a trip to install the Garrison officers the weekend before Veterans Day.  The date is November 8th.  
Thanks to all of you who support me and electing me as your National Commander.  I look forward to working with the newly elected Lady President Doreen Kascsak and her officers.
Again, I am humbled by this opportunity to serve all of you as your National Commander.  With the holiday season around the corner, I wish everyone a happy holidays.  
God bless our troops and well wishes to National Senior Vice Commander Carl Goode. 
I truly believe that the Army and Navy Union is the best veterans organization, hands down.

Virgil A. Jones
National Commander
Army & Navy Union USA

Installation Complete

posted Nov 9, 2014, 8:21 PM by Dean Dyer   [ updated Nov 9, 2014, 8:23 PM ]

National Commander Jones, National Adjutant Henninger, National Lady President Hallock-Kascsak and several other National Corps Officers came to Delaware to perform the Army & Navy Union's Installation Ceremony.  We'd like to thank them along with PNCs Montis, Hancock and Kleyman for coming to Delaware and formally installing us as the newest Garrison of the Army & Navy Union.  Special thanks to National Jr Vice Commander Ken Lissimore for all his guidance in preparing our application package earlier this year. 

Two Hats

posted Sep 28, 2014, 7:07 PM by Dean Dyer   [ updated Nov 18, 2014, 10:47 PM ]

Yesterday during the Department of New Jersey meeting, I was nominated for Junior Vice Commander.  I accepted and now have a second hat to wear, literally.  I hope that I will, in some way, be able to improve the overall condition of the Department.  Thanks to PNC Cahill and Dept Commander Naphy for their confidence in me by giving me this opportunity in the Department.

Dean L. Dyer
Commander, Garrison #302
Jr Vice Cdr, Dept of NJ

National Commander's Report: Aug 2014

posted Aug 31, 2014, 7:37 PM by Dean Dyer   [ updated Sep 15, 2014, 6:51 AM ]

    As my term of office as National Commander comes to [a] close, I would like to thank my Comrades for bestowing this on honor upon me.  I would also like to thank National Lady President Mary Jett-Jones and our Ladies Auxiliary for their support, as they have had and will always have mine.  I also pledge my loyalty and support to my successor whomever they may be.  
    I am very grateful to the many Garrisons that I have been able to visit this past year for their courtesy and hospitality.  It reaffirms my belief that Army & Navy Union members are the best!  
    As I pass the torch of command on to my successor let us pass the future of our organization on by recruiting and retaining as [many] members new and young veterans and their families into our [organization].

John M. Montis
National Commander
Army & Navy Union USA 

Charter Approved

posted Aug 31, 2014, 3:51 PM by Dean Dyer   [ updated Aug 31, 2014, 3:53 PM ]

The National Corps of the Army & Navy Union USA approved the charter request for Garrison #302 on 20 August 2014.  

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