- Sgt. Jacob Kohut teaches music lessons while being deployed as DC Washington National Guard.
- Jacob spends a 12-hour guard shift, on top of his music lessons to kids.
- With a “full heart,” the musician-sergeant sees himself as a full-fledged soldier both of the American Constitution and music education.
A DC National Guardsman spends his regular day fulfilling two important duties: serving to protect the Capitol building and teaching kids music lessons.
Sgt. Jacob Kohut, 34, has been a band teacher for over 10 years, with his recent teaching stint at Canterbury Woods and Frost Middle School in Fairfax County, Virginia, for the last five years, according to Washington Post.
When Jacob was deployed to the US Capitol on the 13th of January, ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, he carried with him both of his duties, one without compromising the other.
“This is what a hero looks like. A member of the DC National Guard, our band teacher Dr. Jake Kohut has been working around the clock since Wednesday to protect our nation’s capital. In between shifts, he is dedicated to CWES students, teaching from DC,” Canterbury Woods Elementary School wrote on Twitter.
Jacob spends a 12-hour guard shift. In the early mornings before his duty, he gives lessons to his elementary students on the drill floor of the DC Armory, and to his middle schoolers from the back of a Humvee in between breaks.
“If I can be there for the kids even though I’m down here, then it’s kind of a no-brainer. That’s what I’m going to do, even if I’m tired,” Jacob told CNN.
Jacob is passionate both in his role in the Army and his love for music. In fact, he gets the best of both worlds as he’s played the bassoon and the saxophone in the 257th Army Band for the past 11 years.
“I think when you’re passionate about things, you find the energy. You find the strength to do them. You make a commitment and a priority to do those things,” Jacob shared.
According to Jacob, his role model remains to be his mother, a single parent who loves music as much.
Despite having a full plate serving the country and being a husband and a father to his young son, Jacob remains faithful to teaching music. Canterbury Woods principal Diane Leipzig even offered to find Jacob a substitute to cover for his lessons while he stays in the Capitol, but Jacob declined.
“He absolutely loves his students and would do anything for them,” Diane said. “He is extremely dedicated. I think he is an excellent example. He teachers our kids the importance of practice, determination and resilience,” she added.
Indeed, Jacob sees himself as a full-fledged soldier both of the American Constitution and music education, committing to doing both with a “full heart.”
A hand salute to you, Sergeant Symphony!