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Two childhood dreams in one career

Lance Corporal Jack Hunt has been able to combine his childhood dreams of serving in the British Army whilst continuing to develop his musical talent, becoming an accomplished musician.

Jack is a musician with the Royal Corps of Army Music (RCAM) currently serving with The Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland (Band SCOTS) based in Edinburgh.

From beginning to play the trumpet from the age of seven Jack went on to study music at college but had also wanted to join the Army from an early age. He believes this stemmed from him being a keen video gamer, with a particular favourite being First-Person Shooter (FPS) and strategy games, which gave him an interest in the British Army’s combat roles.

After joining the Army Cadet Force (ACF) initially, Jack discovered he could join the RCAM and continue his musical studies whilst serving as a soldier. Attending ‘Look at Life’ days and workshops with the ACF allowed him to meet Army band members, who gave him an insight into the career of Army musician.

Jack initially auditioned from the RCAM on the trumpet but was offered a position playing the euphonium and since joining has also learned to play the trombone. He said: “Learning an additional instrument has increased my flexibility as a musician immensely. You learn so much from the people around you, it is constant practice and development".

The Army is genuinely a far deeper organisation than one might think. The Army promotes such a good environment for professional and characteristic development Lance Corporal Jack Hunt, The Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland

Jack’s working day varies, depending on upcoming events. Typically, a normal working day includes warming up his instrument for full band rehearsals, then small ensemble practice, followed by individual practice time and physical training.

Band members also complete military skills training to ensure their basic soldiering skills are kept up to date and they are fit to deploy on operations and exercises.

Jack, talking about his varying schedule, said: "I'm a person whose mind works at thousand miles an hour, I have a new interest every other week so having so much variety in this job brings me far too much fun. I'm a professional musician, social media, and marketing manager, as well as an amateur powerlifter and climber; all through the Army! Where else can you get that.”

Jack said what surprised him the most about joining the Army was: "The type of people you're working with. There is an assumption that you'll be working with a very particular type of person. But you won't meet any other great characters like you will in the Army."

When Jack is not using his musical skills or soldiering, he is a keen strength trainer, and after moving to Edinburgh he joined the Army's Powerlifting Union. Jack stated: "I have competed in several competitions and made plenty of friends along the way”.

Being part of an Army band has given Jack the opportunity to represent the country on the global stage. Jack has performed in countries including Belgium, France, Germany, and Australia, in front of large crowds, foreign dignitaries, and the Royal Family.

He has also recently returned from performing in the Basel Tattoo in Switzerland which followed him performing in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Some of the highlights of Jack’s career include participating in the ceremonial events in Scotland following the passing of the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the arrival of His Majesty King Charles III at The Palace of Holyrood House. Jack said: “This was particularly special as we were the first band to play God Save the King.”

Jack also had the honour of being part of the 60-strong band which lead the procession for King Charles' Coronation. Following that he, as part of Band SCOTS, led the tri-service contingent of the People’s Procession when HMTK received the Honours of Scotland,

He said: "It was a unique and challenging experience; it was the rousing sound that the Band SCOTS created on the day that will remain in my memory forever.”

Of the Army as a whole, Jack said: "The Army is genuinely a far deeper organisation than one might think. The Army promotes such a good environment for professional and characteristic development.”