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Hampton native named first African American to play bass for US Navy Band Commodores

After he completes basic training, William Ledbetter will play the bass for the U.S. Navy Band Commodores.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Author's Note: The video above is on file from Sept. 23, 2021.

A Hampton native has landed a role in the United States Navy Band Commodores in Washington as a bassist, the first African American to do so.

On Sept. 9, the Navy Office of Community Outreach said that Future Sailor William Ledbetter was selected to be in the band after auditioning. It's the first time in 14 years that a Navy musician shipped from Charlotte, North Carolina.

This win for FS Ledbetter gives him a guaranteed job in the Navy. He will begin his military musical career once he finishes his eight weeks of boot camp at the Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois. 

That's where Ledbetter will earn his title as Petty Officer First Class. He was enrolled in a delayed entry program out of Greensboro, North Carolina.

He won after competing in several rounds of auditions against other talented individuals, but there was only one spot open.

“Ledbetter had an amazing and memorable performance and that he will fit the team well," Navy Band Master Chief Musician Greta Loggins said.

For more information or updates from the Navy Recruiting Command follow @USNRecruiter on Twitter or Instagram.

Author's Note: The video below is on file from Sept. 17, 2021.