By Marci Narum

She’s a mom to three little girls, a music teacher, and — she leads a rock band. DeeAnn Fylling is also a national award winner. The United States Army named Sergeant First Class Fylling the Senior NCO (non-commissioned officer) of the Year.

“There are three categories based on military rank: Soldier of the Year, Junior NCO of the Year, and Senior NCO of the Year. Some of the rating factors included physical fitness, weapons qualification, musical proficiency scores, Army awards, and a recommendation from my chain of command,” DeAnn shares.

She also received the Army Band Junior NCO of the Year Award in 2011 and is currently the only Army Band soldier to have ever received two national awards.

DeeAnn serves in the 188th Army Band, a North Dakota National Guard unit based in Fargo and is in charge of the popular music ensemble, Blues in Green. As a soldier musician, she is still required to pass routine physical fitness tests and complete annual weapons qualifications, but she says her primary military occupational specialty is being an Army musician.

“It is as cool as it sounds!” DeeAnn says. “It is the hardest job I have had in my military career, but by far my favorite. It is time consuming, requires great attention to detail, and requires every member to be mentally and musically prepared at all times. We get very little rehearsal time together, but I have a fantastic crew of soldiers who step up to the plate and have continually exceeded my expectations.”

Blues in Green performs 15 to 20 times per year for civilian and military audiences.