U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) announced that his work to allow military bands to once again perform at community events was successful, with the signing into law of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last month. A provision in the NDAA, based on an amendment Swalwell passed in the House, would fix a bureaucratic problem at the Department of Defense (DoD) which had been preventing events, like the Scottish Games in Pleasanton, from hosting military bands even when their sponsor agrees to pay the cost.
“I am glad this issue is resolved and military bands can play again at community events. The provision represents a common-sense solution to a needless, bureaucratic problem,” said Swalwell. “My job as a legislator is to identify problems and find a solution – and we did so in this case without costing the taxpayer a dime. Residents in my congressional district will once again be able to enjoy the patriotic music of the military bands at the Pleasanton Scottish Games.”
“I am delighted, as we all are, that the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act has been passed and signed,” said Maj. Brooks Wilson, Military Liaison, Caledonian Club of San Francisco. “I believe this will be of great benefit to the Caledonian Club of San Francisco and their annual Scottish Games and Gathering in Pleasanton, CA.”
Swalwell introduced his amendment after a Marine Corps veteran in his congressional district brought to his attention that the Marine Band San Diego was prohibited from playing at the Scottish Games held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton over Labor Day 2013. The Caledonian Club would have fully funded the band’s expenditures as it had in years past.
Earlier this year, DoD changed its prior policy and stopped allowing military bands to perform at community events, even when the sponsoring organization agrees to pay for all expenses. DoD claimed that reimbursements from sponsoring organizations were not going to its correct account.