Lieutenant Commander Bob Nixon
Lieutenant Commander Bob Nixon, USMS, is a native of Lebanon Ohio, and comes to the Merchant Marine Academy after retiring from the US Army as a Chief Warrant Officer 5 Bandmaster with over 31 years on active duty. His military service includes commanding bands in the US and overseas; with The US Army Band in Washington DC; on the Department of the Army Staff for Army National Guard Bands; and his final duty as the Senior Instructor for Officer Courses at the US Army School of Music in Virginia Beach VA. LCDR Nixon has conducted thousands of concerts, parades, and led Army musicians in performances from small towns to the White House, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Today Show, and Live with Larry King. As leader of The US Army Chorus in 2001, he and the Chorus performed with the National Symphony Orchestra in the PBS National Memorial Day Concert, as well as for Congress at the US Capitol (with The US Marine Band) on the day after 9/11.
LCDR Nixon enlisted in the US Army as a trumpet player in 1985, was named the Trainee of the Cycle in Basic Training, and completed the 20 week Advanced Individual Training at the School of Music in seven weeks. After serving as a trumpet player with the 74th Army Band, Indianapolis Indiana, then Sergeant Nixon was accepted for Warrant Officer Bandmaster training in 1989, completed the Warrant Officer Candidate School and Warrant Officer Basic Course, and was appointed as a Warrant Officer in 1990.
His command assignments include: 77th Army Band, Fort Sill OK: 3rd Infantry Division Band (re-flagged as the 1st Infantry Division Band), Bamberg Germany; 399th Army Band Fort Leonard Wood MO; and the 4th Infantry Division Band at Fort Hood TX. While commanding the 1st Infantry Division Band, the band performed musical missions deployed to Bosnia, as well as throughout Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, and Croatia. During a 14-month deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he led the 4th Infantry Division Band in performances to boost morale, connect with the local population, in support of a visit by President Bush, and at the US Embassy in Baghdad. LCDR Nixon’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (7 OLC), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, and the NATO Medal (Bosnia).
He holds a Master of Science in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University, and a Bachelor of Music Education from Ohio State University, where he performed in the OSU Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and other musical organizations. While serving in Washington DC he also performed as a trumpet player in the Washington Redskins Marching Band, and before enlisting in the Army, LCDR Nixon taught instrumental music in Heath Ohio. LCDR Nixon and his wife Julie live in Great Neck, and have two adult children, Brian in Columbia SC, and Katie in Chicago IL.