Recipients of the New Zealand Gallantry Star
Corporal David Steven ASKIN, 1st New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment - year of acts: 2011; location of acts: Afghanistan; year of award: 2014 (Corporal Askin died on 14 February 2017 while flying a civilian helicopter fighting fires in the Port Hills, Christchurch)
Corporal David Steven ASKIN, 1st New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment - Special Honours List 9 December 2014 (Gallantry Awards)
“Corporal Steve Askin displayed outstanding gallantry on several occasions in Afghanistan in 2011. Corporal Askin repeatedly faced heavy fire from determined enemies and sustained several wounds in the line of duty, while contributing to the resolution of several incidents, the protection of civilian life and undermining enemy operations. Corporal Askin’s performance was of the highest order and in keeping with the finest traditions of New Zealand’s military record.”
For security reasons the identity of the recipient was not made public until 15 February 2017.
Major Geoffrey Michael FARADAY, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps (Retired) - Special Honours List 3 December 2015 (Gallantry Awards)
On 17 April 2014, an armed mob of civilian demonstrators gathered in Bor township, with the intention of moving on to the United Nations Mission in Southern Sudan (UNMISS) base to protest against the UN presence. Major Geoffrey Faraday voluntarily led a group of Military Liaison Officers to establish a mobile observation post and in doing so was able to issue a warning that the mob was approaching a camp occupied by thousands of displaced persons. The mob breached the camp perimeter and began to attack the occupants with rifles and machetes.
Major Faraday arrived at the camp as the attack began and began coordinating the soldiers defending the camp, and at one stage he attempted to personally intervene while under threat by an armed attacker. Without regard for his safety, he reported on the situation to UNMISS Headquarters and was able to guide the quick reaction force to counter the penetration of the camp perimeter. The attack left 53 civilians dead and afterwards Major Faraday was one of the few people who went out into the camp to search for those in need of medical attention.
Following the attack on the camp at Bor, Major Faraday was deployed on a convoy of four barges with civilian crew and a protection force of UN peacekeepers on board, tasked with taking essential food and fuel supplies along the White Nile River to the UN Camp in the town of Malakal.
On the morning of 24 April 2014 the convoy came under heavy attack from a company of the South Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), occupying prepared positions on the west bank of the river. During the attack the fuel barge carrying Major Faraday sustained damage to one of its engines and became detached from the rest of the convoy, drifting towards the enemy on the river bank. It drifted to a stop 200 metres from the SPLA position, where intensified fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades struck the barge. The SPLA then tried to close in on the barge, but were repelled by the UN soldiers on board, four of whom were wounded during the fight. Major Faraday took control of the situation, though he had no command authority over the UN soldiers or the civilian barge crews. For four hours from the start of the attack until mid-afternoon, the convoy was kept under constant fire. Throughout this period, Major Faraday provided leadership to all on board the barges, moving under fire between firing positions encouraging the soldiers to fight back, and ensuring the four casualties were being attended to. He exposed himself to enemy fire on a number of occasions to maintain his situational awareness and provide regular reports to the UN Force Headquarters on the state of the battle and to request fire support and assistance.
Realising that assistance would not be available, he made the decision to abandon the two fuel barges, transfer the personnel, casualties and stores to the two ration barges and withdraw the convoy out of danger, which he managed to achieve by nightfall, finding a safe harbour site with an anti-SPLA unit. After the fire-fight and withdrawal, Major Faraday reported to the UN Headquarters that the two fuel barges were probably adrift on the Nile, resulting in the barges being salvaged and recovered to Malakal.
Major Faraday’s outstanding gallantry and leadership resulted in a successful conclusion to the battle with the rebel forces and prevented loss of life among the convoy’s 72 civilian and military personnel, and also enabled the UN’s northern base in South Sudan to remain operational.
Corporal Albert Henry MOORE (B10112323), Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment - Special Honours List 1 October 2011
Corporal Moore was the commander of the rear vehicle of a New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team patrol when it was ambushed by insurgent forces near the town of Chartok in Bamyan Province Afghanistan on 3 August 2010. The insurgents set off an improvised explosive device, which immobilised the lead vehicle and then began firing at all four vehicles with small arms fire and shoulder launched rockets, in an engagement that was to continue for some 35 minutes. Corporal Moore immediately ordered his vehicle to pull back in order to establish a firm base from which to support the patrol's withdrawal. This was done in the vicinity of a nearby house. He then coordinated suppressing fire to support the rearwards move of the surviving two vehicles. One of these was able to reach the base, but the other was immobilised by small arms fire some 30 metres away. Despite this, all members of the patrol, except those in the lead vehicle, were now consolidated in one location. It was apparent however that the patrol's position was exposed and that they were both under observation and subject to direct fire from enemy positions on surrounding high ground. Recognising the need for air support and to communicate with higher command, Corporal Moore remounted his vehicle and, under continuous fire from the enemy, drove forward 30 metres to the immobilised vehicle to recover communications equipment. Still under direct fire, he made two further trips to the immobilised vehicle. The first was to collect a general purpose machine gun and the second to pick up extra ammunition. At one stage during these actions, as he mounted and dismounted from his vehicle, he was struck on the shoulder by shrapnel from an enemy rocket.
It was during this time that the two surviving members of the lead vehicle made radio contact to advise that they were wounded, their patrol commander had been killed and that they were pinned down by enemy fire in a dry creek bed near to where their vehicle had been immobilised. After receiving approval from the officer who had assumed command, Corporal Moore remounted his vehicle a fourth time and went forward 350 metres to where the lead vehicle was located. Throughout this move he coordinated suppressing fire on to the high ground from his vehicle and established communications with the wounded soldiers (Lance Corporal Ball and Private Baker). On arrival he positioned his vehicle between the enemy and the soldiers so that they could safely mount the vehicle. He then took them back to the patrol's base for medical treatment.
Related Gallantry Awards:
The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration to Lance Corporal Allister Donald BAKER (Q1018707), Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.
The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration to Corporal Matthew John BALL (X1015655), Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals.
Colonel Neville John REILLY, O.N.Z.M. (T30975), Colonels' List, New Zealand Army - Queen's Birthday Honours List 2000
Colonel Reilly, between June and September 1999, served with the United Nations Mission to East Timor (UNAMET). Immediately the result of the referendum was announced, East Timor began to descend to a state of anarchy. Colonel Reilly was then asked by the United Nations to assume responsibility for the security of the United Nations Mission. It was during this period that he displayed exceptional courage and presence in the face of great physical threat from the rampant militia forces. He often ventured unarmed and with complete disregard to his personal safety to provide support to displaced United Nations staff and to reconnoitre escape routes for possible emergency evacuation of United Nations staff. On one specific occasion, he drove some five kilometres through militia controlled territory to rescue a colleague who was trapped by militia forces attacking the house in which he was hiding. He effected the rescue at considerable personal risk, displaying a total disdain for the chaos and danger around him. Colonel Reilly's calm, unruffled leadership and courage were also inspirational during the siege by militia forces of the UNAMET compound. In addition, his diplomacy and Indonesian language skills were pivotal in successfully negotiating the safe evacuation of some two thousand people, comprising all United Nations staff from Dili and East Timorese nationals who had sought refuge with the United Nations.
This page was last reviewed 8 March, 2017 and is current.