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Military Personnel Center [MILPERCEN] Alexandria VA

Dec. 28, 2012 – Melinda Whitman wrote in a response to an inquiry I had concerning an assignment she had at ‘PERSCOM’:
In 1984, MSG Joe Bates, Enlisted Personnel Manager for Army Bands at MILPERCEN, wanted to return to serving in a band as an Enlisted Bandleader/First Sgt.

He advertised the position vacancy and asked interested senior enlisted bandsmen to apply. I was one of those who applied. I had been at the 2nd Armored Division Band at Fort Hood for 7 long years and needed a change. Somehow I was selected.

In replacing Joe Bates, I filled the only position for an enlisted bandmember from CMF 97 (Army Bands) to be assigned to HQ DA, to the Enlisted Personnel Management Directorate (EPMD), Military Personnel Center (MILPERCEN), to manage accessions, assignments and schooling of Army Enlisted Bandmembers.

This position was located in Hoffman One, 2461 Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria, VA. I was assigned to the Adjutant General Branch, (although the position actually belonged to the Office of Chief of Staff, Army Bands Office), and worked in a cubicle in the AG Branch Office on the 5th floor.

This position accomplished the work done in EPMD, and also served as a representative and advisor for bands with the Chief, Army Bands Staff Office, EPMD and DCSPER at the Pentagon.

During my time in the position I coordinated with LTC Wayne Shipe, MAJ Jack Grogan and SGM John Cathcart, and later, SGM Lou Hurvitz, all of whom, at that time, worked in the Chief, Army Bands Office (they had an office on the 8th floor of Hoffman One), and with folks at the School of Music.

I was always on the phone speaking to enlisted band soldiers and band commanders worldwide about assignments and personnel needs, and with recruiters coordinating enlistments, assignments and schooling of their musician recruits.

The office of Chief, Army Bands was moved to Ft Benjamin Harrison, IN under COL Jon Kindred during my time in that job, but my position in AG Branch at EPMD (Enlisted Personnel Management Directorate), where assignments, accessions and schooling orders were originated, remained in Hoffman One.

And the acronym, MILPERCEN was changed, first to Total Army Personnel Agency (TAPA), and, quickly, changed again to Total Army Personnel Command (TAPC). I think unofficially we called it PERSCOM.

Yes, it was a one of a kind assignment. But there are other veterans who held the position before and after me. I took over for MSG Joe Bates. I don’t remember who had the job before him. After me, there was SFC Greg Caceres(sp?) and SFC Rickey Lumpkin (02F). I don’t know who took over after them, because I had retired, lost touch with the military and took a civilian job.

Melinda Whitman,
US Army Bands, Ret.