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Master Sergeant Wilfredo Cruz

Master Sergeant Wilfredo Cruz is a percussionist with the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West, Travis AFB, CA.  He serves as the unit’s Operations Section Chief. Additionally, he performs on percussion and drum set with the Concert Band and “Galaxy”.

Originally from Bayamón, Puerto Rico, in 2006, Sergeant Cruz joined the US Air Force after a 20-year career as a touring musician and college-level teacher. Once he completed Basic Military Training, he was assigned to the Band of the United States Air Force Reserve in Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, where he performed with "Full Spectrum Jazz Ensemble," "Reserve Generation Rock/Pop Ensemble," and Concert/Ceremonial bands. While stationed at Robins AFB, Sergeant Cruz was named both 2007 HQ/AFRC's Airman of the Year and USAF 12 Outstanding Airman of the Year nominee. In 2010 Sergeant Cruz was assigned to the United States Air Force Band of the Pacific in Yokota Air Base, Japan. During his tenure in Japan, Sergeant Cruz was actively involved in the local community assisting with recovery efforts after the Great Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. He served as Supply NCOIC, UDM, and musical director for "Pacific Clave" world music ensemble and multiple small ensembles. Sergeant Cruz's exemplary leadership traits earned him 2012-B Yokota Air Base Airman Leadership School Commandants Award. In 2016 he was assigned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI. Formerly as the unit's Director of Operations, he was responsible for band engagements in multiple countries on a 36-nation area of responsibility. Additionally, he led band coordination for 2 Pacific Air Chief Symposiums hosted by COMPACAF. Sergeant Cruz has performed for over 20 million audiences for 4 MAJCOMS across the globe. As Section Chief of Publicity, he has supervised personnel assignment, creation, production, and publishing of multiple virtual projects, enhancing the unit's social media presence and reaching more than 5M citizens worldwide.

As Director of Operations for the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West, he has managed logistics and coordination for band performances in front of more than 500,000 live and 2M media viewers.

2006 - Bachelors of Music, Percussion Performance, Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico
2012 - Airman Leadership School, Yokota AFB, Japan
2014 – Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Course 15, Non-Residence
2010 - Noncommissioned Officer Academy Leadership School, JBPHH, Hawaii

Jan 2006 – Feb 2006, Basic Military Training, Lackland AFB, Texas
March 2006 - July 2010, Band of the USAF Reserve, Robins AFB, GA
August 2010 - July 2016, United States Air Force Band of the Pacific, Yokota AFB, Japan
August 2016 – July 2022, United States Air Force Band of the Pacific, JBPHH, Hawaii
August 2022 – present, United States Air Force Band of the Golden West

Meritorious Service Medal
Air and Space Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air and Space Achievement Medal
Meritorious Unit Award
Air and Space Organizational Excellence Award with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Good Conduct Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Humanitarian Service Medal
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Air And Space Overseas Service Ribbon with two oak leaf clusters
Air and Space Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border

2007 HQ AFRC Airman of the Year, Robins Air Force Base, GA
2007 78th Wing Airman of the Year, Robins Air Force Base, GA
2009 Band of the USAF Reserve Airman of the 4th Quarter
2010 Band of the USAF Reserve Airman of the 1st Quarter
2010 PACAF Band Airman of the 3rd Quarter
2012 Finley R Hamilton Outstanding Military Musician Award
2019 PACAF Band & HQ PACAF/Public Affairs NCO of the 1st & 4th Quarter
2020 PACAF Band NCO of the 1st Quarter
2020 PACAF Band Musician of the 3rd Quarter
2020 Directorate Level “Lance P Sijan Leadership Award”, Junior Enlisted Category
2022 USAF Band of the Golden West SNCO of the 3rd & 4th Quarter

Airman First Class – 03 Jan 2006
Senior Airman – 03 May 2008
Staff Sergeant – 01 Sep 2011
Technical Sergeant - 01 Sep 2018
Master Sergeant – 01 March 2022

(Current as of April, 2023)