he “Armed Forces Medley,” also known as the “Armed Forces Salute,” consists of the official marchpasts and songs of the six branches of the United States Armed Forces: the Army, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, the Navy, the Coast Guard, and the new Space Force. In the medley, “Anchors Aweigh,” “The Army Goes Rolling Along,” “Marines’ Hymn,” “Semper Paratus,” “Semper Supra,” and “The U.S. Air Force,” are almost always performed in a specific order of precedence.
Historic Moments Concerning the “Armed Forces Medley”
American composer, arranger, and performer Derric Johnson composed the first medley of US armed forces songs. He focused on four services and ended his piece with the now iconic grand finale “Army… Navy… Air Force… Marines!” and named it “Armed Forces Medley”. It was released commercially in 1972 and used frequently during the 1975-1976 US bicentennial festivities.
In 1990 it was performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, military choirs, and a civil chorus during the first National Memorial Day Concert at the US Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Since then, it has become a standard component of many band and orchestra concerts held in the United States as a means of paying tribute to veterans, reservists, and other active service members of both the Armed Forces and the National Guard Bureau.
How Each Branch is Represented in “The Armed Forces Medley”
Each branch of the military has a distinct official march or song. The Army’s anthem is “The Army Goes Rolling Along,” while the Navy’s is “Anchors Aweigh.” The Marine Corps sings “The Marines’ Hymn,” whereas the Air Force sings “The U.S. Air Force.” The U.S. Coast Guard uses “Semper Paratus,” a.k.a. “Always Ready” and most recently, the newer Space Force uses “Semper Supra,” which translates to “Always Above.”
The Significance of “The Armed Forces Medley”
“The Armed Forces Medley” is a wonderful way to honor those who have defended our nation and to show support for those still working in the military. All of the United States Armed Forces service branches are represented as being united by it. Additionally, it serves as a reminder that every branch has its own distinct past and
traditions that should be preserved.
Throughout history, the medley has been performed on numerous important occasions. For instance, it was played during the 2004 funeral of President Ronald Reagan. Additionally, it has been heard at numerous sporting occasions, including NASCAR races and NFL games. In fact, it has become a staple included at Independence Day celebrations and other patriotic events.
Finally, “The Armed Forces Medley” is a compilation of the official marchpasts and songs from each of the six United States Armed Forces branches. It was written by Derric Johnson in 1972 and has since become a standard component in many band and orchestra concerts throughout the United States as a way to thank former members of the National Guard Bureau, active-duty service members, and reservists. The official song or march from each branch was included in the medley. This powerful and patriotic composition serves as a unifying tribute to the men and women who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.