Joe Cook was affiliated with Syracuse Brigadiers for many years: 12 years as a horn player, and six years as business manager. He was widely recognized for his organizational abilities. He served as New York State American Legion Contests chairman, and was a member of the American Legion National Contests committee for many years. He was a member of the New York State Federation of Contest Judges. He co-founded the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) sales program. His drum corps activity began when he was a bugler with Troop 42 Boy Scouts drum and bugle corps. Before joining the Brigadiers, he spent five years as a bugler with Bordeaux Post Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) junior drum corps. He later served as corps director of Bordeaux Post.