Kirkcaldy soldier, Pipe Major James Muir, recently deployed with the US Navy-led Pacific Partnership on the USS Pearl Harbor.
US Navy-led Pacific Partnership is a six-month deployment across swathes of the Pacific – delivering assistance, guidance, training, education, and culture to thousands of people in more than half a dozen nations.
As a Senior Non-Commissioned (SNCO) infantry soldier and Pipe Major with the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS), based in Fort George, James joined fellow musicians from Australia, Canada, Fiji, and New Zealand in bolstering the US Navy Fleet band.
The band performed seven times in the Fijian capital Suva and surrounding area, hosted by the band of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces who treated their guests to South Pacific hospitality and fresh coconuts.
James was on deck to pipe the Pearl Harbor into Nuku’alofa, Tonga – right in front the king’s palace and adding a taste of Scottish culture.
The combined band subsequently appeared on national TV, visited schools, and laid on public performances.
“At each school I gave the children and some teachers a chance to get a sound from the Great Highland Bagpipe” said James.
“From all eight attempts only one very strong-lunged student managed to get a sound – met by great applause when successful and a big round of clapping and laughter when not.”
James added: “For my part in Pacific Partnership, I am immensely grateful that I was ever given the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful team and mission – to be immersed in culture and practices different to your own is very special.”
It’s a special part of the world with some the friendliest and caring people I have ever come across.
Pipers and Drummers are an integral part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland; soldiers first and foremost, they are dual trained in machine guns and serve with the Regiment in conflicts all over the world. A testament of the versatility it takes to be part of this unique group of soldiers.