Army Band Hit By Skydiver, Marches On

OTB’s Roving Correspondent Richard Gardner sent me this clip about an unfortunate incident at Fort Riley, Kansas wherein a hapless parachutist collides with an Army band.

A rogue parachutist veered off course yesterday and smashed into an unsuspecting military brass band in Kansas, injuring three musicians and destroying two tubas.

Members of the 1st Infantry Division band, which was ready to perform for thousands of spectators, heard nothing but a brief rustling of the jumper’s parachute before taking a direct hit from the human missile.

“We know that they’re going to be all right,” said General Charles Campbell, head of the Army’s Forces Command, who was overseeing the military event.  Sgt. Rachel Boggs was knocked unconscious and suffered a fractured jaw after the aerial assault. Her fellow band member Sgt Andrew Spinazzolla suffered a fractured ankle as well as minor neck and head injuries. Staff Sgt Mark Lucero sustained a minor leg injury.

Since everyone is more-or-less fine, this naturally is prompting some good natured humor.  Abu Muqawama’s Kip has the best reaction thus far:

John Nagl has often quipped that it is difficult for the State Department to do its job when there are more members of military bands than there are Foreign Service officers. Kip isn’t sure that this is exactly how Herr Nagl wished the equation addressed.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Joyce says:

    I am confused by this story. I know the parachutist came in fast, by why didn’t he yell out a warning?? Or, the cameraman—why didn’t he/she yell a warning??