Musician First Class Paul Skinner is a native of Norfolk, Virginia. He attended Boston University, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Old Dominion University. His principal teachers were Edward Knakal, Dennis Zeisler, Craig Nordstom, F.Gerald Errante, Harold Wright, and Ricardo Morales.
MU1 Skinner was a member of the 1981 McDonald's All-American Band that performed in New York City and Los Angeles. He was First Prize winner of the 1984 National Association of Negro Musicians Concerto Competition.
In 1993, MU1Skinner enlisted in the United States Navy Music Program and graduated first in his class from the Armed Forces School of Music. While at the School of Music, he auditioned and was selected as clarinetist/saxophonist with the U.S. Naval Academy Band, reporting to Annapolis in May of 1994. He has performed with the wind ensemble, marching band, "Next Wave" jazz ensemble, clarinet quartet, and ceremonial units. MU1 Skinner also serves as the band’s photographer.
MU1 Skinner has been awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation (2 awards), Navy Good Conduct Medal (4 awards), National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.