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Navy Band Northwest Leadership Biographies

Director, Navy Band Northwest

Lieutenant Joel Thiesfeldt


Lieutenant Joel Thiesfeldt enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2003. Following training, he reported to Navy Band Southwest as a trumpet instrumentalist. Subsequent enlisted duty stations include Navy Band Northwest, Navy Band Great Lakes, and the Naval School of Music.

He is a graduate of the Naval School of Music’s unit leader and senior musician courses.

Thiesfeldt received his commission as a naval officer in 2017. After attending the Limited Duty Officer/Chief Warrant Officer Academy in Newport, Rhode Island, he completed tours as a department head at U.S. Navy Band, Washington, D.C., and as assistant director, U.S. Fleet Forces Band, Norfolk, Virginia.

He reported to his current assignment as director of Navy Band Northwest in January 2022.

Lt. Thiesfeldt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Thomas Edison State University. His military decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards).


 

Assistant Director, Navy Band Northwest 

Senior Chief Musician John Wheeler

Senior Chief Musician John Wheeler enlisted in the Navy as a Trumpet Instrumentalist in 2004 after studying trumpet performance at the University of Delaware.  After accession training and MU “A” School, he was assigned to Navy Band Southwest and Navy Band New Orleans where he served in a variety of musical and collateral roles.

After graduating Unit Leader “C” School at Naval School of Music, he reported to U. S. Pacific Fleet Band, where he served as Musical Director and Leading Petty Officer for Pacific Partnership 2011 and 2012 aboard USS CLEVELAND (LPD 7) and USNS MERCY (T-AH 19) where he earned his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualifications. 

After detaching Pacific Fleet Band, he attended the Senior Musician Course at Naval School of Music with follow-on training at the Command Career Counselor School.  He was subsequently assigned to Naval Forces Europe Band in Naples Italy where he was selected for Chief Petty Officer in 2015.   Duty assignments included Unit Leader, Chief-in-Charge of numerous units operating forward, Command Career Counselor, and Administration and Operations Department Head.

In August 2018, he was assigned to Navy Band Southwest as Operations Department Head, and Leading Chief. 

In May 2021, he was assigned as Fleet Band Activities Materiel Manager responsible for all materiel acquisition and inventory management for 10 Fleet Bands.  He selected for Senior Chief Petty Officer in the Spring of 2021.  His tour at Navy Music program management was abbreviated when he was selected as Senior Enlisted Leader and Assistant Director of Navy Band Northwest where he reported in December of 2022.  

Senior Chief Wheeler’s military decorations include:  Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five awards), and various unit and service awards.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 254 Gold).

 

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