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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 

Master Chief Musician Ian Charleton

Master Chief Musician Ian Charleton enlisted in the Navy as a Saxophone and Clarinet Instrumentalist on May 22, 2001 after completing undergraduate and graduate degrees in jazz studies at the University of North Texas.

After Recruit Training and accelerated graduation from the Naval School of Music, he was assigned to the CINCSOUTH band in Naples, Italy. In addition to his performing duties, he served as protocol combo unit leader, music director for the jazz ensemble “Alliance,” and as the band’s staff arranger.

In January 2005, he reported to the ATLANTIC Fleet band where he was assigned to the U.S. Navy Showband and assumed duties as the unit’s music director and arranger. In this capacity, he supported the 2005 UNITAS exercise in Brazil and the inaugural Pacific Partnership mission aboard USNS MERCY (T-AH 19) in 2006.

In August 2007, Master Chief Charleton returned to the Naval School of Music for advanced training. Upon graduation in April 2008, he joined the staff and taught jazz theory, large and small ensemble arranging, and melodic writing. During this tour he was designated a Master Training Specialist, named 2010’s Instructor of the Year for the School of Music and Center for Service Support, and in 2011 was promoted to Chief Petty Officer.

In December 2013, he reported to the PACIFIC Fleet Band where he led the band detachments embarked aboard USNS MERCY in support of Pacific Partnership 2015 and 2016. He also served as the band’s Leading Chief, Collateral Duty Head, and Audition Coordinator.

In January 2017, Master Chief Charleton reported to Navy Band Northeast in Newport, RI where he served as the band’s Leading Chief, Administration Department Head, Operations Department Head, Chief-in-Charge of the band’s Popular Music Group, and staff arranger. In 2018 he was promoted to his current rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer.

In July 2019, he returned to the Naval School of Music where he served both as Head of Rehearsal Division and Head of Academics. This tour was abbreviated when he was selected to be the Assistant Director and Senior Enlisted Leader for Navy Band Northwest. He reported in November 2020.

Master Chief Charleton’s military awards include: Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal (two awards), Navy Achievement Medal (three awards), as well as numerous campaign, service, and marksmanship awards. He is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (211 Orange) and the Command Master Chief/Chief of the Boat Course.

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Commander, Navy Region Northwest   |   1100 Hunley Road   |   Silverdale, WA 98315
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