America's Military

Spc. C.J. Powers is an Army musician assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, CASCOM.

Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, CASCOM

Military occupational specialty: 42R - musician (drums)

Age: 30

Hometown: Newport News

Time in service: six years

Personality strengths: “I’m an outgoing person, caring and understanding.”

Personality weaknesses: “I can care too much and take on more than I should, and I procrastinate.”

Pastimes: “I spend time with my wife, and I like producing and playing music. I also like art, playing basketball, hiking and traveling.”

Favorite quote: “‘Yes we can’ (from the 2008 Barack Obama campaign). Sometimes, we have to remind ourselves that we can, and we don’t believe it as a group, culture or a country. I think it’s very important to understand and know that when we come together, we can accomplish a lot.”

Worst fear: “Dying and knowing I wasn’t able to impact someone’s life in a positive way.”

Pet peeve: “When people don’t listen.”

Dream car: The Tesla cyber-truck – whenever it comes out.”

What you believe in: I believe in the power of love. With love, all things are possible, and if the world had a lot more of it, obviously, it would be a better place.”

If you could do anything, anywhere right now, where and what would that be: “My grandad was a very popular organist and piano player. He passed away when I was deployed. If it were possible, I would love to perform a song with him one more time.”

Greatest achievement: “Becoming a husband.”

Talk about your childhood: “It was very different. I grew up in a family of musicians. A lot of it was spent on the road with them and their band and performing alongside them and just soaking up music. Around the neighborhood, I was competitive in sports, but it was mostly music.”

The celebrity or historical figure you’d like to meet: “I would say Maya Angelou. I would just want to soak up the knowledge.”

One person you admire: “My father. He showed me what resilience looks like. He has lived his whole life with lupus and was supposed to die from it. He didn’t, but he was just diagnosed with cancer on top of the lupus and is still showing us what it means to walk in faith and not fear, so …”

One life-changing event: “Aside from joining the Army, my deployment (to Southwest Asia in 2015). I was in the band so we did a lot of community outreach, and we performed a lot for the outside community in Bagram, Afghanistan. Just to experience what life was like there for people. … We see it on TV and we hear about it, but when you see how people really live and how good we have it, it definitely shifted my outlook and made me more appreciative of what we have here.”

Who you were prior to joining the Army: “I was a lost version of my current self. I had trouble getting to the threshold of having a plan and purpose. I knew what I wanted to do – I had dreams, music and talent – but I was kind of stuck and didn’t know where to gain the responsibility necessary to fulfill my dreams. The Army was that jump for me; it showed me how be disciplined and how to attack those goals and check off those boxes.”

Why you joined the Army: “To better myself.”

What you love about being an Army musician: “To be able to do what I love while serving the country at the same time. You can’t beat that.”

What it means to wear the uniform: “It means being part of something bigger than yourself.”

What you expect of leaders: “Accountability.”

What you expect of peers: “Accountability and the understanding we all want to push each other to get better.”

What you would change if you were Army chief of staff: “I would come up with a better process of determining those who really want to serve and those who don’t.”

Best thing about the Army: “The sense of community and family you experience no matter where you are.”

Where you see yourself in five years: “I see myself in California with my wife, owning a music studio, doing my music and traveling the world.”