Ignore my political views for this one article. That is not my point. This man was suspended from his marching band for saluting to President Obama last week. I don't care if he was saluting to Beyonce, Ron Jeremy , Hines Ward or Bozo the Clown. I played in a marching band and for a brief time played in an orchestra. If you want to express yourself as an individual then write a blog or go to open mike night. Do not join a marching band or an orchestra. You are expected to act as one unit. No room for free lancing in something like a marching band. Something you will understand if you spent even a month in the endeavor.
This individuality stuff is a bunch of bullshit."
- General George Patton Jr
Coleman was part of the band and not the band. He was told specifically to adhere to the uniformity of the organization. He did not on a significant event and he paid the price. That is essential in group dynamics. George Patton, Norman Dale are examples. If I have not succeeded in imparting to you that the suspension was just then tell me if Mr. Coleman would fit in here.
Cleveland firefighter John Coleman's wink to President Obama gets drum major tossed from band
By OREN YANIV
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Monday, January 26th 2009, 4:13 PM
Cleveland firefighter band member John Coleman is caught on camera waving at President Obama during the inaugural parade last week.
All it took was a wave, a wink and a nod toward President Obama for a Cleveland firefighter to get waived from his marching band.
Drum Major John Coleman reciprocated an acknowledgment from the new president at last week's inaugural parade while marching past him with the Cleveland Firefighter's Memorial Pipes & Drums.
"He waved and I just gave him a wave and a little nod and moved on," Coleman said yesterday.
What may seem as a small patriotic gesture - which was captured by CNN and also included what seemed like a wink - did not sit well with Coleman's superiors.
They made him face the music with a six-month suspension from his drum major duties.
"We had gone over and over time and again with everyone in the band that this was a military parade. Protocol and proper decorum had to be followed at all times," bandleader Pipe Major Mike Engle told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Unfortunately, John chose to ignore that."
Coleman insisted he abided by the rules.
"I was told it's a military parade and I'm not to salute the President and I did not salute," he said.
Trying to minimize the marching band brouhaha, Coleman added: "It was a great honor and I don't want anything to smear the band's image. I don't want to see any negativity."