Tony Agresta, second from right, plays the trumpet with a band. Photo courtesy of the Agresta family.

A big band coastie and his Italian prisoners go to town in WWII

This is a story of a young seaman during WWII who befriended POWs over Betty Gable movies, played trumpet in the United States Coast Guard orchestra band in Charleston, South Carolina, and spent his later years performing with the likes of Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey. It’s not a story well-known, but a story worth knowing.

Don Johnson directs the Coast Guard Headquarters Chorus during an All Hands holiday concert in December 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Diana Honings.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Don Johnson

Don Johnson has spent 45 years of his life with the Coast Guard as an active duty member, civilian and volunteer. He currently works at Coast Guard Headquarters and is a beloved Coast Guard Headquarters Chorus director who has brought a respite for many during the workday through chorus practices or the occasional All Hands concerts. Johnson embodies the Coast Guard’s Core Values while finding ways to bring joy and good humor to those around him.

Hunter and Katie

A love of country music

A request from the Academy of Country Music for military men and women to perform with some of the genre’s biggest stars was met with tremendous enthusiasm from more than 80 talented singers and musicians across the service. Two Coast Guard members were selected for the ACM’s All-Star Salute to the Troops, which airs May 20 on CBS in celebration of Armed Forces Week.

The life and legacy of Sid Caesar

Actor. Musician. Comedian. Coast Guardsman. Today we honor the life and legacy of Sid Caesar. Born in Yonkers, N.Y., Caesar studied saxophone at the Julliard School of Music. He played in a number of prominent Big Bands, including those led by Charlie Spivak and Claude Thornhill.


A legacy of goodwill: A tribute to Capt. Kenneth Megan

After close to four decades of performing with the U.S. Coast Guard Band, Capt. Kenneth Megan is retiring. The band’s final performance under his leadership took place yesterday in Leamy Hall at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. On his farewell week, Lt. Megan Mervar sat down with the departing director for his perspective on the role the band plays as ambassadors for our nation and the emotions he’s experienced during the band’s many performances.


Shipmate of the Week – AUX Paul Deafenbaugh

It’s just 24 notes; not a full composition or even a song. It’s merely a bugle call. But this bugle call does more than move mountains; it moves souls.

This 24-note bugle call, known as taps, is part of military funeral honors for those who have faithfully defended our country in war and peace. In this ceremonial paying of respects, perhaps no one else in the Coast Guard best understands taps’ power than Auxliarist Paul Deafenbaugh, the bugler for the U. S. Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard.

A chance to hear the music

I will admit it, I am a complete music snob. That being said, last night I got to hear the Coast Guard Band when they played at the Coast Guard Foundation dinner in Washington DC. As I was sitting there […]

Great opportunity to see the Coast Guard band

“A Salute to America’s Veterans, Past and Present”- The Coast Guard band is going to be playing at the Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University in Washington, DC tomorrow (June 19th) at 7:30 p.m. More information here.