A Royal Navy officer from Kirkintilloch travelled to Buckingham Palace recently to receive an OBE for his services to the armed forces.
Commander James ‘Jim’ McNair OBE Royal Navy (RN) was delighted to be named on the Queen’s birthday honours list earlier this year.
He described it as “a huge honour”.
Jim earned the award for his outstanding work in offering support to Sea King helicopters in Afghanistan and in the UK with the RAF Search and Rescue (SARF).
A former pupil at Kirkintilloch High School, Jim joined the RN in 1980 as a Junior Naval AirMechanic.
He has served in various ships including HMS Invincible during the Falklands conflict.
Throughout his career he has travelled extensively, visiting places in the Far East, USA, and South America.
Jim cites his time in Afghanistan as his most rewarding as he was able to support the local population’s efforts to rebuild the country.
Promoted to Commander in 2011, being drafted at short notice seemed a thing of the past.
However, a few months later he found himself in Afghanistan working in Kabul for the Americans, managing their mobile communications network.
He is presently officer in command of the Defence College of Technical Training’s Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival Equipment School (RNAESS), HMS Sultan.
Jim heads up the school that teaches aviation to all Royal Navy Engineers.
Prior to receiving the OBE Jim had received medals for service in the Falklands, Bosnia and Afghanistan.
He also received awards to mark his dedicated long service and good conduct, and to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee back in 2012.
Jim said: “To join the RN as a Junior Engineer, progress through the ranks and receive an OBE is a huge honour.
“The military and civil service team I worked with during this period were dedicated to keeping this aircraft flying around the world and in the UK.
“Had it not been for their incredible efforts I would not have received an OBE”
Jim is married to Carolyn and has two sons, one who is a Royal Marine.
The other is a student at Portsmouth University studying Mechanical Engineering. He hopes to follow his father into the Fleet Air Arm.
Jim’s mother May still lives in Kirkintilloch.