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Florida State alum serves with U.S. Navy Band Northwest

Hooper joined the Navy nine years ago.
Posted at 2:38 PM, Jun 25, 2024
  • A Florida State University Graduate serves the U.S. Navy with Navy Band Northwest.
  • Navy Band Northwest was established in 1925.
  • Read the news release below to see who plays and how he serves the nation.


Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Hooper, a 2011 graduate of Florida State University with a bachelor's in music education, serves the U.S. Navy with Navy Band Northwest.

Hooper joined the Navy nine years ago. Today, Hooper serves as a musician and plays the trombone.

“The Navy provided me with an opportunity to be a professional performing musician,” said Hooper. “Upon being informed I won the audition, I immediately accepted and began the process to join.”

Navy Band Northwest was established in 1925 as the 13th Naval District Band and serves as the Navy’s musical ambassador in the Pacific Northwest. Performing for military ceremonies and public events, the 35-member unit aims to raise morale in the community, promote patriotism, and raise awareness about the Navy’s mission across a 12-state area that ranges from Nebraska to Alaska. Members must win a nationwide audition prior to enlisting and typically have extensive musical backgrounds, often including advanced degrees from prestigious universities and conservatories. These sailors are professional musicians capable of performing in various ensembles including parade band, ceremonial band, concert band, rock band, jazz combo, and in brass and woodwind quintets.

Stationed aboard Naval Base Kitsap, Navy Band Northwest is one of nine official U.S. Navy Bands located in the continental United States, Hawaii, Italy and Japan.

According to Lt. Joel Thiesfeldt, the director of Navy Band Northwest, Navy bands help build awareness about what the Navy does by bringing the fleet to the American people.

“As we travel across the nation, we strive to inspire patriotism and illustrate the importance of our military while honoring the service of our veterans,” said Thiesfeldt.

With 90% of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to recruiting and retaining talented people from across the rich fabric of America.

Hooper serves a Navy that operates far forward, around the world and around the clock, promoting the nation’s prosperity and security.

“We will earn and reinforce the trust and confidence of the American people every day,” said Adm. Lisa Franchetti, chief of naval operations. “Together we will deliver the Navy the nation needs.”

Hooper has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“I am most proud of my deployments to Africa, where we visited Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Cape Verde and Mozambique,” said Hooper. “We were trusted representatives of the Navy, our culture and music itself. In some cases, we were clearly the first uniformed U.S. service members the local population had seen, and also the first brass instrumentalists. I am also proud of our support to U.S. World War II cemeteries around Europe and Africa. The opportunity to provide musical honors to ceremonies with WWII veterans in the audience at places like Normandy and Tunisia was humbling.”

Hooper can take pride in serving America through military service.

“Serving in the Navy is a means to support myself and my family while traveling the world and playing music,” said Hooper. “It’s also an opportunity for adventure and a challenge that most professional industry jobs do not offer.”

Hooper is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I want to thank my mom, Kathy Hooper,” added Hooper. “She’s the ultimate support anyone could ask for. When I finished my master’s, I was considering jumping into teaching but she wanted me to try to find a playing job. She supported me however she could and she continues to do so.”