More Than a Medley — U.S. Armed Forces Branch Anthems
From Inspiration to Celebration
Each branch of the United States military has its own marching band (and orchestra) — a practice that hearkens back to a time when the marching band would join troops on the battlefield and inspire them to... march.
What used to be an instrument of inspiration and courage is now deployed to express celebration and pride. While all of these bands keep an array of music in their repertoires, each has a branch anthem that is their principle theme.
Branch Anthem Origins
It is common for the branch anthems to be performed at functions honoring national holidays like Independence Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day and the like. Often, the songs are performed in medleys – arrangements wherein integral parts of each song are performed as a single, longer piece of music. Sometimes, the bands and/or orchestras are made up of members from multiple service branches.
When the branch anthems are arranged in medleys, it is common for them to be presented in ascending order of precedence.
Semper Paratus, United States Coast Guard
- Music and lyrics by Captain Francis Saltus Van Boskerck
- Composed from 1922-1927, in use 1928
- View our Coast Guard collection
Semper Supra, United States Space Force
- Music and Lyrics by Jamie Teachenor and Sean Nelson
- Composed 2019-2022, in use 2022
- View our Space Force collection
The U.S. Air Force, United States Air Force
- Music and lyrics by Robert MacArthur Crawford
- Composed 1938, in use by 1947
- View our Air Force collection
Anchors Aweigh, United States Navy
- Music by Charles A. Zimmerman & Lyrics by John Hagan
- Composed 1906, in use 1907
- View our Navy collection
Marine's Hymn, United States Marine Corps
- Music by Jacques Offenbach & Lyrics anonymous
- Composed 1867, in use 1929
- View our Marine Corps collection
The Army Goes Rolling Along, United States Army
- Music by John Philip Sousa & Lyrics by Harold W. Arberg
- Composed 1917, in use 1956
- View our Army collection
Do You Have a Favorite Branch Anthem Rendition?
Send us your links to branch anthem renditions, photos of American flags, flagpoles, ropes, or other accessories! We would be honored to feature your photography in our blog or on Facebook. Remember, photos of damaged flags and accessories are valuable, too.
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