Question about Drum and Bugle Corps


Aug 16, 2016
There seems to be a lot of encouragement in the appointee kit to audition or interview for the Drum and Bugle Corps. Can anybody comment on the amount of time commitment this is, when and how often they practice, and what other activities are precluded due to a cadet's involvement in Drum and Bugle? Do practices take place during intramurals? How much traveling in involved and what is its impact on a C4C's academics and study time? Is it worth it?
DD was in D&B her first year. She really enjoyed it -- the traveling, group dynamics, etc.
However, it is a huge time commitment, especially in the Fall since D&B plays at all football games, including away games.
Practices were from 1600 - 1900 or so every weekday, and many Saturdays, if no football game.
Being in D&B preempts many other activities such as intramural sports, some training sessions, and most other clubs.
Your academics will be affected if you do not practice extremely good time management. You can/will do a lot of homework and studying while on travel, including in the aircraft. You will also miss some classes during travel.
@Capri120 Exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. Thank you. Music is an important outlet to our appointee and this would be a highlight for him to look forward to every day. If D&B is not only permitted, but encouraged, as a C4C, then he should consider it. But from a time mgmt perspective, he must consider it with caution. Are there other musical opportunities available to C4C cadets?
Are there other musical opportunities available to C4C cadets?

Yes. There is an orchestra with a larger variety of instruments and maybe a jazz band. There are also a couple of choir groups including church-affiliated. DD is part of one of these and has been since the beginning.
Here is a link to the various clubs:
My DS has been in Drum and Bugle his entire time at USAFA and is now a C1C about to graduate. Yes, it is a huge time commitment especially during football season. As Capri said, Drum and Bugle cadets do miss out on intramurals but I think just during the fall. Lots of great travel to include the away football games, a January trip to Aspen, the Mountain West bball tournament in Las Vegas to name a few. He did learn a great deal about time management early on and was able to do well in his major. There is a jazz band which my DS was a part of for one year but did not continue to stay involved. I know there are things he wished he would not have missed out on but does not regret his time in D&B at all. Congrats to your appointee!
Also I think it's important to note that the 1600-1900 time frame includes athletics several times a week (since the D&B cadets are precluded from athletic clubs for the most part) and they also usually go to dinner as a group by around 1830-1845.
My 2016'er who replied a million years ago (okay only 5 years ago) did stick with D&B all four years. It was an important outlet for him and was, I think, important in teaching that vital time management skill. He graduated with a degree in Physics and is finishing pilot training. Youngest is a 21'er and also in D&B. He's looking at declaring Astro, so continuing all four years remains to be seen...
Sorry, meant to add that our 16'er valued his time with the Corp and didn't think he missed out of anything.
DS is a 2021er and has enjoyed his first year of D&B a lot. Yes, time management was a big thing to figure out but he has said that he is so glad he did D&B. The only thing he has regretted is that, due to the practice time every day and time away on trips, he has missed out on training/activities with his squadron. Some squadrons don't appreciate fellow Doolies missing out on the fun of "beat sessions". But his squadron has been very forgiving of his time away. And the trips he has taken...very, very cool!! The parade dress uniform is awesome too (well, maybe not for them, but the parents sure like it). You also get to watch for them on TV when a game is televised :)
D&B also has a Facebook page to which they post many, many pictures of their activities and trips as well as videos of their performances.
Since I cannot post a Facebook link to this forum, due to the rules, just Google it. You don't have to have an account to view the photos and videos.