In June 2012, Lawrence A. Devron, a former member of The United Stated Army Band “Pershing’s Own” who currently works for the Army Records Management and Declassification Agency, visited Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, the main command post of U.S. Army Central. During a tour of the installation with the command’s archivist, he discovered the score for the Third Army March in a trophy case beside a drum major’s mace and sash. He asked to have a closer look at the now-aging score and realized it truly was the Third Army March, composed in 1945 by Chief Warrant Officer Gregorio A. Diaz. It bore the inscription: “Respectfully dedicated to Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr. and the gallant officers and men of the Third U.S. Army.”
“Is that what you play at ceremonies here?” asked Mr. Devron.
“No,” was the answer. To his dismay, Mr. Devron learned that that the modern incarnation of the Third Army, U.S. Army Central, uses the popular Patton Marchx from the 1970 film “Patton” for ceremonies. Shortly after World War II, the march had faded into obscurity, but Mr. Devron contacted music teachers, Army Band alumni, and the librarians at The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” to learn more about it. He discovered that a set of the original parts had been archived by “Pershing’s Own” when the Third Army Band was inactivated years before, but the march had never been recorded and was no longer performed.
On November 6, 2013, “Pershing’s Own,” under the direction of First Lieutenant Silas Huff, recorded the march in the presence of Mr. Devron and the composer’s son, Tom Diaz.
This edition of the march was edited and arranged by 1LT Huff especially for contemporary bands. The composer’s musical intent remains intact even though the score was scrubbed for errors and articulation/rhythmic inconsistencies, then some transposing instruments were changed to match current standards and practices, and the texture was filled out to better fit today’s educational and military bands.