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Sgt. James Landman, of Fargo, conducts the North Dakota National Guard 188th Army Band's Clarion of Freedom ensemble during a June 21, 2013, lunchtime concert in downtown Fargo. Landman was honored during the concert for being named the Reserve Component Army Band Soldier of the Year for 2012, designating him the best in the nation among all other Guard and Reserve band members. Submitted photo

Landman named best band member in nation

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A North Dakota National Guard soldier, who serves in the 188th Army Band, was recently named one of the best in the nation.

Sgt. James R. Landman, of Fargo, was presented the Reserve Component Army Band Soldier of the Year award as he conducted the Clarion of Freedom group during a lunchtime concert in downtown Fargo today.

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Brig. Gen. David Anderson, North Dakota National Guard Army component commander, presented the award to Landman as he was surrounded by his family, saying that the accomplishment further proved how the North Dakota National Guard is the best in the nation.

Anderson listed numerous national awards North Dakota Guardsmen have recently earned in areas from public affairs to engineer operations and now in the band.

The award acknowledges Landman as the best enlisted Army band member across the entire National Guard and Army Reserve for 2012. It took into account his personal honors, overall effectiveness, job accomplishment, leadership, organizational and planning skills, judgment and decisions, and artistic integrity.

"This has been a great recognition for a fine young man," said 1st Sgt. Bradley Reed, the acting commander and enlisted conductor for the 188th Army Band. "He's a very talented musician, and it'll be great to watch him in coming years as he continues to enhance what the band provides to our communities and state."

Landman enlisted in the Guard in February 2008. Reed recruited him into the band after hearing him play.

Landman works full-time as the band director for Sheyenne High School in West Fargo.

In the Guard, he's frequently seen playing trumpet - serving as the lead trumpet instrumentalist - as well as conducting other brass musicians as he was today.

He's also known for his vocals and was part of a trio that performed the national anthem in front of a crowd of nearly 20,000 for a North Dakota State University football game last year. Behind the scenes, he arranges and rewrites music for the ensemble groups, provides training for his peers, and even helped lead rehearsals for university music students at the Ployhar Honor Band Festival. Beyond his musical talents, Landman earned one of the highest physical fitness scores in his unit.

In addition to the Soldier of the Year award, Landman also received an Army Commendation Medal today.

The mission of the 188th Army Band is to provide music throughout the full spectrum of military operations and to instill in Soldiers the will to fight and win, to foster the support of citizens, to promote national interests at home and abroad, and to entertain audiences.

By Sgt. Amy Wieser-Willson

 
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