Chief Warrant Officer 2 Alex J. Panos serves as the Director, Conductor, and Officer in Charge of the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing Band. He attended San Diego State University on a full scholarship and graduated with honors in 2004 with a Bachelor's Degree in music. He entered the Marine Corps under the Musician Enlistment Option Program on 20 September 2006.
Following graduation from recruit training and Marine Combat Training, he attended the Armed Forces School of Music in Virginia Beach, VA, where he earned his instructor qualification at the early rank of Lance Corporal. In April of 2007, Lance Corporal Panos was assigned to Marine Band San Diego where he was nominated for Marine Musician of the year, twice. In March of 2008, Corporal Panos graduated the Martial Arts Instructor Course as a Green Belt Instructor. In April of 2008, he was selected by name to be the bass trombonist of the Marine Corps All-Star Jazz Band in its inaugural year, and was selected a total of four more times in the following years to participate in the prestigious ensemble, directly supporting The Marine Corps Recruiting Command in both regions and all districts.
In April of 2011, Sergeant Panos was assigned to the 1st Marine Division Band and in March of 2013, he deployed as an individual augment to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with Regimental Combat Team 7, 7th Marine Regiment. Upon returning from deployment, he was assigned to the Naval School of Music, Virginia Beach, VA for the January 2014 Unit Leader Course. Upon graduation in August of 2014, Staff Sergeant Panos was once again assigned to the 1st Marine Division Band where he was selected and billeted as a Small Ensemble Leader, and was the 2015 Staff Marine Musician of the Year out of the entire Marine Corps. In June of 2017, he received orders to be the trombone instructor at the Naval School of Music in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and just four months later was selected as a warrant officer.
In January 2018, he attended the Warrant Officer Basic Course at The Basic School in Quantico, VA, and received orders to be the Director and Officer in Charge of Marine Band San Diego. During his tenure, he led Marine Band San Diego in over 1,000 military ceremonies, community relations events, and recruiting events, to include both the nationally televised Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade (2018, 2019, and 2021) and the Tournament of Roses Parade (2022), and performing musical honors for both the Secretary of the Navy (2019) and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (2020). In June of 2022, he received orders to be the Officer in Charge of the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing Band in Miramar, California, where he has led the band in performances at the annual Miramar Air Show (2022) and the Bands of America Regional Competition (2022) in St. Louis.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Panos' awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2nd award), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4th Award), Navy Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal (3rd Award), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment, and ISAF NATO Medal.