Magazine article Soldiers Magazine

From Pianos to Officer Candidate School

Magazine article Soldiers Magazine

From Pianos to Officer Candidate School

Article excerpt

MATTHEW W. Asmus Jr. looked sharp in his dark blue pinstriped suit, playing the piano in his final graduate performance at the University of South Carolina's School of Music Recital Hall.

He played music by Mozart, Bach, Debussy and Rachmaninoff with the ease of someone who has been doing it for years.

"He has been playing for as long as I can remember," said his cousin, Ms. Kim Pritchett, who came down from Charlotte, N.C., to attend the recital. Mr. Asmus's parents also flew in from Bountiful, Utah, where their son was raised.

He graduated in May with a master's degree in music from the University of South Carolina. Following graduation, he enlisted in the Army.

"With all that's going on in the world, I want to serve while I still can," Mr. Asmus said. "I had talked with recruiters when I was in high school, but my mom was a little scared back then. I told my wife that I want to set a good example for our kids and give our family a better way of life."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Mr. Asmus said that he and his wife, Mandy, jointly explored their options about Army life before visiting the local Army recruiting station.

His recruiter, Staff Sgt. Darryl Bogan, suggested The Army Band, Pershing's Own, as one career option.

"When he told me about his education, I thought the band would be the logical fit for him, but he said no, he had been playing piano his whole life," Staff Sgt. Bogan said.

At first, Mr. …

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