Fijians leave Lebanon, but stay busy

The Fiji Infantry Regiment dates back to at least the 1920s when the (then colony) fell under the influence of New Zealand and it was established as a local defense force– akin to territorials. By WWII, the unit was seeing service in a real shooting war, with Fijians making a name for themselves throughout the Pacific.

Fast forward to 1978 and, once the island nation became a self-governing and independent republic inside the British Commonwealth (with a short break after a military coup), the FIRgt became the cornerstone of the 3,500-man Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

A Fijian honor guard unit in their traditional uniforms at an event in 2018. Note the old-school M16A1s. The RFMF’s ethos is “Na Dina, Dodonu, Savasava,” which translates to Truth, Integrity, Purity

Unique in its structure, the three (active) battalion regiment typically has two of its battalions permanently deployed with the UN while the third remains at home for actual defense (a rarity) and training. The Fiji Regiment also has three reserve battalions should things get crazy.

Now, it seems they have a free company.

The UN recently bade farewell to 134 Fijian peacekeepers with the UNIFIL force in Lebanon. The country deployed to Beirut initially in 1978– the Republic’s first overseas mission– and has remained there off and on since then.

The job has been dangerous and no less than 35 Fijians lost their lives on the mission over the past 40 years.

“We shall keep in mind our fallen comrades in arms, who represent an example of unwavering commitment to UNIFIL and to this country,” said UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col of Italy.

Don’t worry though, the Fijians still have forces deployed on UN missions in Syria (a battalion-sized unit), Iraq, Sudan, Jerusalem, and the Siani (another battalion)— meaning about a quarter of their entire force (and two-thirds of their infantry) is currently wearing the blue beret.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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