First Lieutenant Jac’kel Smalls became the Executive Officer of the U.S Army Europe and Africa Band and Chorus in July of 2022. He is the director and Officer-in-Charge of the Soldiers’ Chorus and serves as Associate Conductor for the concert band. Prior to this assignment, he served as the Executive Officer for the U.S Army School of Music at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek- Fort Story, Virginia Beach, VA, and Associate Bandmaster, United States Army Band “Pershing Own”, Washington, D.C. A native of Goose Creek, South Carolina, Lieutenant Smalls holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Winthrop University and a Master of Business Administration from Liberty University.
First Lieutenant Smalls has served the Army across a broad spectrum of assignments. He enlisted in the Army in 2007 as a euphonium player. His enlisted assignments include the 2nd Infantry Division Band, Uijeongbu, South Korea, 392nd Army Band, Fort Lee, VA, 56th Army Band, Joint Base Lewis -Mcchord and the 1st Armored Division Band, El Paso, TX. While serving with 1st Armored Division Band, he was selected to become a Bandmaster and earned an appointment to Warrant Officer 1 in 2014. As a Chief Warrant Officer, he commanded the 77th Army Band, Fort Sill, OK from 2014-2016 where he led the band in hundreds of performances for the Fort Sill community and across the Midwest.
From 2016-2019, he served with the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” as Associate Bandmaster and Director of the U.S Army Blues and U.S Army Band Downrange. He led these premier ensembles in performances at the 2018 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, The Embassy of France in Washington D.C, 2018 National Tree Lighting Ceremony, The National Museum of African American History & Culture, joint performances with Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, and other events across the National Capital Region. As Associate Bandmaster he conducted concerts and ceremonies at the White House, Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, and other significant events with the U.S Army Ceremonial Band and U.S Army Concert Band. In 2017, he was attached to the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region in support of all military ceremonial support during the 58th Presidential Inauguration. While serving at “Pershing’s Own” he was selected to become a commissioned Officer and attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA, where he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant. He holds the distinction of being the only commissioned officer currently to have served in active duty Army Bands as a non-commissioned officer and warrant officer.
His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (second award) Army Commendation Medal (fourth award), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (fourth award), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal (second award), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (second award), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Silver) and the Basic Instructor Badge.
First Lieutenant Smalls is married and has three children.