PHOENIX – U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. James Merville, a Phoenix native, has been playing music since the first grade and always desired pursuing a career in music, which he found in the Marine Corps 12 years ago as a professional trombone player.
Merville’s career has taken him across the world to play music in places such as Australia, Cambodia, and Mongolia to name a few. His wife of 11 years and their three children have been on the adventure as well, being stationed in New Orleans, San Diego and Minnesota.
In this interview Merville tells us more about himself and what excites him about Marine Week Phoenix, Sept. 10-13, 2015.
Q: Where are you from and where did you graduate from high school?
A: I was born and raised in Phoenix, Ariz., I went to high school right up the road at Camelback High School and graduated in 2002.
Q: What was your favorite part about growing up in Arizona?
A: My favorite part about growing up out here was all of the outdoor activities you can do, even though it is hot here, that part is true. You can go camping, you can go hiking, off road biking – just loads of stuff to do outside.
Q: When did you join the Marine Corps and why?
A: I joined the Marine Corps during my senior year of high school in 2002 because I had a strong desire to serve my country.
Q: What is your job in the Marine Corps and what are some of your more memorable experiences?
A: I play music in the Marine Corps and I started off as a trombone player, I did that for about eight years. I’m now an instrument repair technician, so I fix band instruments of all kinds. I have had a chance to play professionally, travel the world, and see places I didn’t even know existed prior to joining the Marine Corps.
Q: What are you looking forward to most about Marine Week Phoenix?
A: I’m looking forward to getting to see some of my buddies from the band. I haven’t seen those guys in a while and have a lot of good memories with them traveling around.
Q: What do you hope the Phoenix community's biggest takeaway is from Marine Week?
A: There is not really a big Marine Corps footprint here, and this is an opportunity for people that I grew up with, family and friends, to see what it is the Marine Corps does. There are all different sides to the Marine Corps, it’s not just running around chasing bad guys. That is a huge part of what we do, but there are so many other jobs that we do and there is so much that we give back to the world and the community at large.