Meet the Musician
Lieutenant Commander Walt Cline,
Lt. Cmdr. Walt Cline is a native of Frederick, Md., and enlisted in the Navy in June 1988, just weeks after graduating from Middletown High School. During his 13 years as an enlisted Sailor, he served as a trombone instrumentalist with Navy Band Memphis, Navy Band Great Lakes, and U.S. Atlantic Fleet Band. While enlisted, he held positions such as drum major, leading petty officer, fiscal/supply petty officer, and ceremonial conductor. In 1994 he was selected as the Navy Band Great Lakes Sailor of the Year and Naval Training Center (Simplex) Sailor of the Year. He was also selected as U.S. Atlantic Fleet Band Sailor of the Year for 1997 and 1998. As a member of the U.S. Navy Showband, he toured throughout Africa and South America in support of WATC-96 and UNITAS-37.
On May 1, 2001 he was commissioned a limited duty officer bandmaster, and was promoted to the rank of ensign. His first officer assignment was as the assistant director of the U.S. Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, Md. In 2003, he reported as director, Navy Band Mid-South in Millington, Tenn. In July 2006, he assumed his duties as the Fleet Bandmaster, U.S. 7th Fleet Band stationed aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) in Yokosuka, Japan. In 2008, he assumed duties as director of the historic Navy Band Great Lakes in Great Lakes, Ill. Cline is a graduate of the School of Music's basic course of instruction, section leaders course, ceremonial conductor and drum major course, and enlisted bandleader course.
Cline reported to the U.S. Navy Band as executive officer in 2011. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (5 awards), and Navy Good Conduct Medal (5 awards).