The Citadel

The Military College of South Carolina

Dare to Lead

Citadel News Service
3 Dec 2009

“America’s Band in 2010" - Cmdr. Mike Alverson

A native of Etowah, Tenn., retired Navy Cmdr. Mike Alverson is a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music education and was a member of the UT "Pride of the Southland" Marching Band as a trombone instrumentalist and president and assistant director of the University of Tennessee Singers.


Alverson enlisted in the Navy in April 1971. His first assignment as a Navy musician was to the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C. His following tours of duty included Navy Band Orlando, Fla., and as a staff instructor at the Armed Forces School of Music, Norfolk, Va. Alverson was selected for advancement to senior chief musician in April 1982. Then in May 1983 while serving with Navy Band in Newport, R.I., he received his commission to ensign and was reassigned to the U.S. Naval Academy Band.

Alverson's other assignments included the Navy Band Charleston, the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the U.S. Atlantic Fleet Band where he conducted the band during the Normandy Invasion's 50th anniversary celebration. 

In 1997, under Alverson’s direction, the Atlantic Fleet Band performed in Canada as the United States representative to the Nova Scotia International Tattoo. In September 1998, Alverson reported to the U.S. Naval Academy Band, serving as its director until his retirement from active duty in September 2001. After moving back to the Norfolk, Va., Alverson was employed by the Virginia Arts Festival as coordinator and musical director of the Virginia International Tattoo. In 2004, he returned to Charleston to become director of bands at The Citadel where he oversees the Regimental Band and The Citadel Pipe Band.

Alverson's military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy Achievement Medal (three awards), Coast Guard Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal (three awards), Humanitarian Service Medal, plus numerous unit awards.

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