I was in US Army basic training in the summer of '81. I was going into the West Point Jazz Knights.
When I enlisted I was told it was a 6 weeks deal. Halfway through I was told that it was now EIGHT weeks.
I had to stupid idea that I could take my horn along. I showed up to basic training (Ft Leonard Wood Missouri) and at first we were assigned to the reception station. That lasted three or four days. No training or assignments per se. We had to get up every day and stand in lines. We were given our haircuts, and all the uniforms we'd need (not including the West Point band uniforms however).
When I had a chance I'd grab my horn and go practice. The other recruits probably were wondering what the hell was wrong with me. They hung out, smokes cigarettes, played cards, whatever.
On the day we were assigned to a company, we were told to assemble outside. From the air everyone looked identical except for me. I had my gig bag next to me.
The recruiting station SGT Major came over and asked me "Why'd you bring your tuba?"
Rather than correct him I told him since I was going directly to West Point after basic, I needed to have it with me. He asked how much the horn cost. I knew where he was headed; he wanted to ship it. I told him it cost me $2000. (in reality my Bach 12 cost me $225m, but I didn't want it being mailed anywhere)
He shook his head and told me that my drill SGT would have me turn it in along with my civilian clothes.
The day came when were in line with our civies. The drill asked me what I had in the case. I told him "my trombone, Sargent"
He told me "Hell, get it out and play something" I was blown away. But I saw my chance. I got my horn together and began playing every military song I could manage. Army, Marine, Navy etc.
Then he said "well, keep it in your locker. I'll have you play it every now and then"
I put in my locker still assembled. Stuffed my gig bag on the top shelf. I managed some practice time over those remaining 7 weeks, but not much.