by John Allred
In light of recent events with COVID-19, Soldiers living in Grafenwoehr and the 7th Army Training Command have started complying with local German provisions against the virus and actually anticipating changes as they occur to ensure Soldiers not only comply with local laws, but Army directives. This means a higher health protection level for Soldiers and their families. Day-to-day life has changed in a big way: Soldiers are working from home if considered non-essential, and families have been notified of the required changes. Most functions can be done digitally, so we have started using software that has allowed us to do the majority of work from our houses. Administrative measures are still seen to as we take measures against the virus, and Soldiers can still improve their physical endurance and strength.
For me, working from home has made things easier in some ways, but harder in others. It has allowed me more time with family and to develop my musicianship. I am not an Army musician, but a Troop Commander in the 2d Cavalry Regiment. My musical education and training occurred before I commissioned 8 years ago, but I still seek out opportunities to perform.
I was approached about making music for a Public Affairs project to highlight how we at 7th Army Training Command are still part of the German community. I naturally agreed, and I persuaded them into the Freischütz for a few reasons. First, Weber actually lived in Bavaria for a time before he wrote Freischütz. Second, we work in a training area, so an excerpt from an opera about bullets and marksmen was deemed appropriate. And third, I didn't really see a recording of "Ein Prosit" as a message we wanted our Soldiers to receive during a time of isolation. The Public Affairs team used the Acapella recording I made and overlaid it with our Commanding General's message in front of the Grafenwoehr tower, which is a landmark visible for miles around the training area and the namesake of our garrison, "Tower Barracks."