Senior Airman Jamie Teachenor rehearses at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., on July 20, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)
Air Force Senior Airman Jamie Teachenor always wanted to serve his country.
He just didn’t realize doing so would involve guitars, drums and microphones.
Teachenor, a 37-year-old Troy University student working on obtaining his Master of Business Administration, was already a successful songwriter in Nashville when he auditioned and became the lead singer of the Air Force Academy Band known as Wild Blue Country.
Today, he balances his studies while traveling, writing and recording with Wild Blue Country, representing the Air Force while being a husband and father.
“As old fashioned as it sounds, I’ve always been a patriot. I just never knew it was possible to serve my country by singing and fronting a country band,” said Teachenor, who joined the Air Force two years ago.
Wild Blue Country is a six-member team that includes five band members and a sound engineer. Together, they tour to support the Air Force domestically and abroad.
“We travel across the U.S. in support of the admissions and outreach mission of the Academy and we deploy in support of the greater mission of the Air Force,” Teachenor said. “I also have the honor of singing our national anthem for many NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS and NCAA sporting events across the nation.”
While he, his wife and children are stationed at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, he’s able to take classes through TROY Online while touring with the band.
“I study and complete my assignments every spare chance I have, whether I’m at home or on tour,” Teachenor said. “When I’m home, I stay up late working after the kids have gone to bed. When I’m on tour, I spend as much time studying in hotel rooms as possible, also on planes and in airports, between shows, in green rooms, driving across the country down the interstate. I’ve learned to do what I have to do. I have found sound-proof headphones to be very valuable in helping me stay focused.”
Teachenor’s father, Jim, is in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and served as a tank gunner in the Army. It was his father who inspired Teachenor’s unique career path as well as his sense of duty.
“He was playing rock ‘n’ roll before anyone even knew what to call it,” Teachenor said. “I grew up hearing my dad play shows and write and record his music. It was in every aspect of our lives — church, get-togethers, family reunions, live shows, the studio, you name it. I was playing and singing with my family in churches as early as the age of 3 and getting paid to front bands in bars at 9 years old.”
Taking inspiration from sources as varied as Merle Haggard and the Beatles, Teachenor moved to Nashville before he turned 21 and went on to have multi-platinum success writing songs for and recording with artists such as Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Trace Adkins, Lynyrd Skynyrd and one of his biggest influences, Jerry Lee Lewis.
When the opportunity arose to combine his natural gifts with service in the military, Teachenor couldn’t pass it up.
Like any Air Force recruit, he went through basic training, though he knew his ultimate responsibility would be to make the best music possible while representing his country.
Wild Blue Country recently recorded an album of original songs Teachenor co-wrote and co-produced. It’s available for free on websites such as CD Baby and Bandcamp.
He’s also recorded several personal albums and extended play releases, which are available at a variety of online retailers.
His service commitment ends in 2019. In the meantime, he takes two classes per term as he pursues his master’s degree.