A Pipe Major position is an appointment and not a military rank. As such, they are required to attain a senior non-commissioned officer rank (Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, Colour Sergeant, or Warrant Officer) and have successfully completed the Pipe Major's Course at the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming before they would be appointed the regiment's Pipe Major. Since the pipes and drums of an infantry regiment are normally required to take on a secondary role as a machine gun platoon, the Pipe Major is responsible for the following additional tasks:
- Be the platoon's operational commander or second-in-charge during military exercises or war
- Ensure military discipline among members of the Pipes & Drums
- Be a transmitter of regimental history and customs
The Pipe Major is usually referred to and addressed as "Pipe Major" and not by his rank. The insignia of appointment is four point-up chevrons worn on the lower sleeve, usually surmounted by a bagpipes badge and frequently by a crown or other badge dependent on rank and regiment.
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