Master Sergeant Steven P. Helfand performs on drum set and percussion with the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America. He is a member of the Concert Band and Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble.
Sergeant Helfand graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, in May 2004 with a Bachelors degree with High Honors in Mathematics, a Bachelors degree with Honors in Computer Science, a University Honors Program Citation and a Gemstone Research Program Citation. His former teachers include Walter Salb and Steve Fidyk.
In 2005, Sergeant Helfand auditioned for the U.S. Air Force Bands and Music Program and was assigned to the USAF Heartland of America Band, Offutt AFB, Nebraska. In 2011 he was assigned to the USAF Band of the Pacific, Yokota AB Japan, performing on drum set with both the jazz band Pacific Showcase and the popular music ensemble Pacific Trends. Sergeant Helfand deployed as a member of the US AFCENT band in 2008 and again in 2014, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Prior to joining the Air Force, Sergeant Helfand toured the world as drummer with the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra under the musical direction of Larry O'Brien. He has appeared with national artists such as Steve Lippa and previously served as an Artist in Residence and Guest Lecturer of Music with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Jazz Studies Department.
2004 Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, University of Maryland, College Park MD
2004 Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, University of Maryland, College Park MD
2006 Honor Graduate, Basic Military Training School, Lackland AFB, Texas
2009 Airman Leadership School, Offutt AFB, NE
2013 Community College of the Air Force Associates Degree
January 2006 - July 2011 USAF Heartland of America Band, Offutt AFB, NE
August 2011 - September 2014, USAF Band of the Pacific, Yokota, AB Japan.
September 2014 ¬- Present, USAF band of Mid-America, Scott AFB IL
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
USAF Band of the Pacific-Asia Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, 2012
Distinguished Graduate Award Airman Leadership School Class 10-A, 2009
Academic Achievement Award Airman Leadership School Class 10-A, 2009
Air Force Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:
Airman First Class 6 January 2006
Senior Airman 21 March 2008
Staff Sergeant 1 April 2010
Technical Sergeant 1 July 2013