Major Justin W. Lewis is the commander of the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Under his leadership, 60 Airman-Musicians perform more than 400 events each year throughout the Midwest to honor America’s service members and veterans, inspire young people to serve, and connect the public with their Air and Space Forces. Major Lewis organizes, trains and equips the unit to communicate the Department of the Air Force’s strategic messages with Americans at home and strengthen international partnerships when deployed abroad.
Major Lewis commissioned as a distinguished graduate of U.S. Air Force Officer Training School in August 2012. He graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of music from Temple University. He holds two masters of music from Penn State and a doctor of musical arts from the Catholic University of America. He completed post-doctoral studies at the Rotterdam Conservatorium at the University of the Arts in the Netherlands. Prior to his current position, Major Lewis was a team lead for opinion leader engagements and city outreach at the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs at the Pentagon.
Previously, Major Lewis led Air Force bands based in Germany and Qatar that performed cultural diplomacy and ceremonial missions in 61 countries to reassure America’s allies and counter adversarial disinformation. These events were broadcasted to a combined audience of more than one billion people. Major Lewis has recorded with the Centaur and Shadow Mountain Record labels, and has been invited to appear in concert with choirs, orchestras and bands in 19 countries. He frequently mentors young musicians as a festival guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator.
2006 Bachelor of Music, cello performance, Temple University, Pa.
2008 Master of Music, cello performance, Penn State University
2009 Pennsylvania Instructional I Teaching Certificate K-12 Music, Penn State University
2010 Master of Music, orchestral conducting, Penn State University
2012 Distinguished Graduate, Air Force Officer Training School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2012 Public Affairs Qualification Course, Defense Information School, Fort Meade, Md.
2015 Doctor of Musical Arts, the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
2016 Choral Conducting Institute at Oxford, Westminster Choir College, Oxford, U.K.
2018 Post-Doctoral Studies, Conducting, Rotterdam Conservatorium, Rotterdam, Netherlands
2019 Squadron Officer School, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1. August 2012 – August 2015, Flight Commander, U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.
2. August 2015 – July 2018 Operations Officer, The U.S. Air Forces in Europe Band, Ramstein Air Base, Germany (Officer in Charge, U.S. Air Forces Central Command Band, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar)
3. July 2018 - June 2020, Team Lead, Opinion Leader Engagements and City Outreach, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
4. June 2020 – Present, Commander, USAF Band of Mid-America, Scott AFB, Ill.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
2012 General James “Chappie” Award, U.S. Air Force Officer Training School
2012 Daniel Webster Award, U.S. Air Force Officer Training School
2014 Air Combat Command Public Affairs Company Grade Officer of the Year
2017 U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa Captain Bradley R. Schuldt Outstanding Communication Company Grade Officer of the Year
2017 U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs Company Grade Officer of the Year
2019 Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs Captain Bradley R. Schuldt Outstanding Communication Company Grade Officer of the Year
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant 31 August 2012
First Lieutenant 31 August 2014
Captain 31 August 2016
Major 1 January 2022