Master Gunnery Sergeant J. Michael Stanley studied Music Education and Applied French Horn at Florida State University and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1998. Upon completion of Recruit Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC and Marine Combat Training, he reported to Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, VA for instruction at the U.S. Naval School of Music.
After graduation, he reported to Commander, Marine Corps Forces Pacific, for duty as a horn instrumentalist with the Marine Forces Pacific Band. While there, MGySgt Stanley participated in exercises in the U.S. PACOM and CENTCOM areas of operation that including providing support to U.S. diplomatic missions in the African nations of Eritrea and Djibouti, commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Liberation of Kuwait, and performances throughout the South Pacific.
In 2003, MGySgt Stanley transferred to the Parris Island Marine Band as a horn instrumentalist. During this time, he served as the Operations Chief and a Ceremonial Conductor and was subsequently selected by the Marine Corps Music Program to become a Recruiting District Musician Technical Assistant (MTA). In 2006, he attended the Basic Recruiter Course in San Diego, CA. During this time, he was selected as an Enlisted Conductor. From 2006-2010, MGySgt Stanley served as the MTA to the 4th Marine Corps Recruiting District in Harrisburg, PA. After a successful recruiting tour, he was posted to the National Capital Region as the Enlisted Conductor/Acting Bandmaster for the Quantico Marine Corps Band.
In 2012, he was assigned to the U.S. Naval School of Music where he served as the Advanced Academics Division Head from 2012-2015. During this time, he was selected as the Chief of Naval Education and Training/Center for Service Support Senior Instructor of the Year for both 2012 and 2013. MGySgt Stanley also completed the demanding Master Training Specialist certification for naval instructors.
In January 2016, MGySgt Stanley was transferred to the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band in Okinawa, Japan where he served as the Enlisted Conductor. During this time, MGySgt Stanley supported joint and combined exercises throughout the Indo-Pacific Theater, engaged in theater security cooperation and interoperability with partner nations, and supported the U.S. diplomatic efforts in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines as well as bi-lateral operations with the Japan Self-Defense Force Bands.
In 2018, MGySgt Stanley was appointed as the Marine Corps Music Program’s Head of Musician Procurement at Marine Corps Recruiting Command, where he led the national recruiting, marketing, audition, and educational outreach campaigns for Fleet Marine Corps Bands and The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps.
In September 2020, he returned to the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band for duty as Bandmaster and Senior Enlisted Advisor. He was promoted to his current rank on March 1, 2022.
MGySgt Stanley is a graduate of the U.S. Naval School of Music’s Unit Leader Course and Senior Musician Course as well as the Naval War College’s Senior Enlisted Academy and Naval Justice School’s Senior Legal Course.