Pipe major wrong to play Tattoo rules army

AN Australian army pipe major has been found guilty of insubordination after defying orders not to take his regimental band to the Edinburgh Tattoo.

Phil Wyld, a warrant officer in the army reserve, defied the Australian military top brass amid claims army chiefs were envious of his band’s success.

He is now awaiting sentence after being found guilty of two charges of insubordination.

The Adelaide Universities Regiment Pipes and Drums were officially refused permission by the Australian Defence Department to play at this year’s Tattoo because of security risks.

But there were claims the decision had been made because military chiefs were jealous, because the army’s main band had not been invited.

Mr Wyld, who was a band member for 31 years, ignored the orders and, after raising their own funds, the band attended the event and performed as the South Australian Pipes and Drums.

Mr Wyld, a state public servant, is now awaiting sentence by army top brass, and could be demoted.

The charges relate to his failing to salute his commanding officer at a meeting in April and the manner in which he spoke to the officer.

The meeting had been called to discuss the band’s decision to attend the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in a civilian capacity after being refused army permission to attend.

An army spokesman said the army accepted there had been "a degree of tension and disquiet in the unit" over the ruling, but the commanding officer had the right to require a report about any band activities that might affect the army.

He said Mr Wyld refused to subordinate himself to his commanding officer’s authority and continued to challenge that authority.

A third charge of failing to obey a lawful command was not upheld.

The spokesman said Mr Wyld’s record of service and conduct would be taken into account.