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2009 Archived MEDALS NEWS

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Prestigious award for Air Force recipient: the Jean Batten Memorial Award

1 December 2009

Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Squadron Leader Jim Rankin has been presented with the Jean Batten Memorial Award by the New Zealand region of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (GAPAN).

The award, presented by Master of the Guild, Rear Admiral Colin Cooke-Priest CB FRAeS RN (Rtd) at the Guild’s annual dinner, recognises an outstanding individual contribution to New Zealand aviation.

The citation for SQNLDR Rankin, who joined the RNZAF in 1978, said for the past 30 years he has made an outstanding personal contribution to New Zealand aviation in the disciplines of pilot training, airmanship and the safe conduct of general aviation activities.

“He is an experienced instructor across many disciplines and has committed his career time, willingly and cheerfully, to educate other aviators in both the military and the civil environment.”

SQNLDR Rankin said he was “gobsmacked” when he heard he was to be presented the award.

“It was totally unexpected and quite humbling,” said the pilot who has flown a number of fixed and rotary wing aircraft; and at various times has coordinated military and civil air displays at events such as Warbirds Over Wanaka.

For further information see the NZDF media release on this award to SQNLDR Rankin.

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Auckland citizen soldiers receive medals from Hon John Banks, Mayor of Auckland City

29 October 2009

Medals for service in the New Zealand Army will be presented to soldiers from across Auckland City on Saturday 31 October by the Mayor of Auckland City, His Worship Hon John Banks QSO.

Most of the 16 soldiers receiving medals are members of the Army’s Territorial Force (TF) who serve with the Grey Lynn based 3rd Auckland (Countess of Ranfurly’s Own) and Northland Battalion Group.

TF soldiers are part time members of the Army who serve in uniform at the weekends and in their spare time as well as holding other jobs. The medals being presented on Saturday recognise service on peace support operations in the Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Afghanistan and Sinai.

Not all the medals being presented are for overseas service. Auckland City Councillor Greg Moyle, who is also a Major in the TF, will receive a third clasp to his Efficiency Decoration recognising 30 years of service as a part time member of the New Zealand Army. The Efficiency Decoration is awarded to TF Officers for completion of 12 years service, clasps worn on the ribbon of the Decoration are awarded for each additional period of six years service.

“The medals are a valuable recognition of time away from home and family. In many cases the awards have been earned by the soldier and their next of kin who have provided support at home and had to cope on their own while the soldier has been away. Employers also provide valuable support often making sacrifices themselves to enable their staff to serve overseas and retain their employment”, said Lieutenant Colonel Chris Powell, Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion Group.

The ceremony is being held at the Auckland Town Hall and which begins at 10am.

What: Presentation of medals to soldiers from Auckland City by Mayor of Auckland, Hon John Banks.
Where: Auckland Town Hall.
When: 10am Saturday, October 31.


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New Zealand Vietnam Veteran receives United States gallantry medal after 41 years

20 October 2009

Auckland Vietnam Veteran Brian Chippindale was presented with a United States military gallantry decoration, the Bronze Star with V Device, 41 years after he performed the heroic act the medal recognises.

The presentation was made at the Silverdale RSA on Friday, October 16 by Randy Berry Jr, the Consul General of the United States of America in Auckland.

Brian was a Captain in the New Zealand Army, attached to a United States Army unit on patrol in Vietnam in April 1968. When the patrol was attacked, Brian led his American colleagues in a counterattack and forced the enemy into retreat.

The citation accompanying the award states that Brian "remained exposed to a hail of enemy fire, without regard for his personal safety, in order to keep up a devastating and continuous volume of fire" and his "extremely courageous performance, professional skill, and tactical proficiency during the battle of 19 April 1968, reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, the military profession, and is in the highest traditions of the Armies of New Zealand and the United States Of America."

For his actions that day, Brian was awarded the US Bronze Star with "V Device" which is a bronze letter V worn on the ribbon to denote that the medal was awarded for valour. Brian never received the medal when he was in Vietnam.

Brian Chippindale was commissioned in 1958 into the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps. Brian served in a variety of roles in New Zealand and overseas with The United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation in the Middle East and in Malaysia and Borneo. Brian deployed to Vietnam in November 1967 where he spent a six month tour attached to US Army cavalry units. Brian retired from the army with the rank of Colonel in 1986.

After retirement Brian served for nearly 14 years with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade before retiring to the Hibiscus Coast in 1999 with his wife Margaret.

Citation

The full citation for Brian Chippindale's gallantry award can be read here.

Related media releases:

16 October 2009 - New Zealand’s first Vietnam War casualties among those to have gallantry recognised

15 October 2009 - Vietnam Gallantry Recognised - statement by the Associate Minister of Defence

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New Zealand’s first Vietnam War casualties among those to have gallantry recognised

16 October 2009

The first two New Zealand casualties in the Vietnam War are among a group of 15 to have gallantry medals awarded to them by the Republic of Vietnam and the United States of America, now officially recognised in this country.

The Associate Minister of Defence Heather Roy yesterday announced that the Governor-General had agreed to the acceptance and wear of the 15 gallantry awards given to the New Zealanders.

Among the awards are those given to Sergeant Alastair Don and Bombardier Robert White, both killed in action in Vietnam on 14 September 1965 – New Zealand’s first Vietnam War casualties. Both men died when their Land Rover towing a trailer with ammunition was hit by a command detonated mine at Ben Cat. Both soldiers were posthumously awarded the Cross of Gallantry with Palm by the Government of South Vietnam.

Ten other New Zealander soldiers who received the Cross of Gallantry either with a Silver Star or Bronze Star from the Government of South Vietnam are now also able to wear their medals with pride.

Two Army Officers awarded the United States Bronze Star and one Air Force officer awarded the United States Distinguished Flying Cross for acts of gallantry in Vietnam are also included in the list. These officers were attached to United States units when the acts of gallantry took place.

“This allows a group of men who demonstrated gallantry in their own right to be recognised by their peers and the public of New Zealand,“ says the Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae. “The approval for wear of these medals is a fitting recognition of their efforts.”

Other South Vietnamese awards, which were not for gallantry, have not been approved for acceptance and wear.

List of recipients

The list of gallantry award recipients can be found here.

Citations

The citations for the 15 gallantry awards can be read here.

Related media releases:

20 October 2009 - New Zealand Vietnam Veteran receives United States gallantry medal after 41 years

15 October 2009 - Vietnam Gallantry Recognised - statement by the Associate Minister of Defence

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Vietnam Gallantry Recognised

15 October 2009

Associate Minister of Defence Heather Roy today announced that approval has been given for New Zealand veterans to receive and wear 15 gallantry medals awarded by the United States and the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

"The first of these medals - a Bronze Star with V device - will be presented to New Zealand veteran Brian Chippindale by US Consul General Randy Berry Jr in Auckland tomorrow," Mrs Roy said.

"The Governor-General's approval for the receipt and wearing of these medals completes the medals actions agreed upon in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2006 between the Government and representatives of Vietnam veterans, the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association (RNZRSA) and the Ex-Vietnam Services Association.

"Although the MOU focused on New Zealand and South Vietnamese medallic recognition, the opportunity was also taken to gain approval for three New Zealanders to accept and wear US medals awarded for acts of gallantry while serving with US units.

"This recognition will resolve a long-standing grievance of Vietnam veterans that those who delivered service beyond the normal will at last be allowed to wear these gallantry awards with pride. These are all very brave men, and approval to wear these medals is fitting recognition of their efforts," Mrs Roy said.

The Gallantry Awards to New Zealanders by the Government of South Vietnam which have been approved for acceptance and wear:

Cross of Gallantry with Palm - two awards

37221 Sergeant A.J.S. Don, Royal New Zealand Artillery

- 161 Battery – Killed in Action on 14 September 1965

928518 Bombardier R. White, Royal New Zealand Artillery

- 161 Battery – Killed in Action on 14 September 1965

Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star - six awards

387723 Private W.F. Angell, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Lead Scout, Victor Five Company

580917 Sergeant D.P. Beattie, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Platoon Sergeant, Victor Five Company

41737 Lance Bombardier T.A. Graham, Royal New Zealand Artillery

- Gun Number, 161 Battery

31351 Major D.R. Kenning, Royal New Zealand Artillery
- First Battery Commander in Vietnam of 161 Battery

30619 Major J.D. McGuire, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Officer Commanding, Victor Five Company

35187 Major B.R.H. Monks, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Officer Commanding, Victor Six Company

Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star - four awards

584637 Private H.A. Ellison, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Machine Gunner, Victor Five Company

354556 Corporal A.M. Lee, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Section Commander, Victor Six Company

457585 Warrant Officer Second Class M.C. Nabbs, Royal New Zealand Artillery
- Battery Sergeant Major, 161 Battery

570354 Corporal B.M.J. Nissen, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Section Commander, Victor Five Company

Note: No other New Zealanders are authorised to wear the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, or the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star.

The Gallantry Awards to New Zealanders by the Government of the United States for service in Vietnam which have been approved for acceptance and wear

Bronze Star with ‘V’ Device (for gallantry) - two awards

822606 Captain B.D. Chippindale, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps
For acts of gallantry while attached to 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry (United States Army)

30650 Captain B. Meldrum, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps

- For acts of gallantry while attached to 11th Armoured Cavalry Regiment (United States Army)

Distinguished Flying Cross - one award

82805 Flying Officer M.R. Callanan, Royal New Zealand Air Force

- For acts of gallantry while attached to 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron (United States Air Force)

Citations

The citations for the 15 gallantry awards can be read here.

Related media releases:

20 October 2009 - New Zealand Vietnam Veteran receives United States gallantry medal after 41 years

16 October 2009 - New Zealand’s first Vietnam War casualties among those to have gallantry recognised

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NZDF Medal update from the Minister of Defence

13 October 2009

Wayne Mapp, Minister of Defence, spoke this afternoon at the 93rd RNZRSA National Council Meeting in Wellington.  On the NZDF Medal he said:

"Grappling with the future is one part of my responsibilities. Ensuring that we learn from, and remember the past is another.

Military service places unique demands on people, whether they are deployed overseas or not. The training is rigorous. The discipline can be tough. The hours can be demanding. It is a calling apart from normal civilian life. This is why service in our armed forces deserves special recognition.

The Government is committed to formally recognising non-operational service. This is long overdue. Medallic recognition for those who undertook Compulsory Military Training and balloted National Service has been under consideration since the late 1990s. The Associate Minister and I are currently considering a report from the Joint Working Group proposing the best way forward for this important project."

The full speech by the Minister can be read on http://www.beehive.govt.nz

For more information on the proposed medal see the NZDF Medal Frequently Asked Questions and Administrative Updates page.

The new medal is intended to recognise military service from 3 September 1945 to the present.


NZDF is NOT currently accepting applications for the planned New Zealand Defence Force Medal. It is anticipated that a call for applications will happen in 2010.

Related media statement:

18 June 2009 - New Defence Force medal planned

Related updates:

For the latest update(s) see Frequently Asked Questions - NZ Defence Service Medal page of our website

4 August 2010 - NZDF Medal - update

11 September 2009 - NZDF Medal Survey - update

10 August 2009 - NZDF Medal Survey - update

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South Auckland soldiers to be presented with medals

30 September 2009

Territorial Force (part-time) soldiers from the South Auckland area will be presented with medals for recent overseas service at the Papakura RSA at 6.45 p.m. on Friday, 02 October.

The medal recipients are all members of the South Auckland community who, in addition to holding full time jobs, serve as soldiers with the 3rd Auckland, Northland Battalion Group of the New Zealand Army.

The medals to be presented on Friday night are for recent service on operations in the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste.

“Instead of holding this ceremony behind closed doors, we have chosen to get out into the communities our soldiers live and work in to present their medals for service publicly and acknowledge the good work they have done. The RSA is a particularly apt venue because it means that the veteran community can welcome these new veterans”, said Lieutenant Colonel Chris Powell, the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Auckland Northland Battalion Group.

The medals to be presented are the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Solomon Islands), the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Timor-Leste), and the New Zealand Operational Service Medal.

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NZDF Medal Survey - update

11 September 2009

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group is on target to present a report to the government on the proposed NZDF Medal by 30 September 2009.


For more information on the proposed medal see the NZDF Medal Frequently Asked Questions page.


NZDF is NOT currently accepting applications for the planned New Zealand Defence Force Medal. It is anticipated that a call for applications will happen in 2010.

Related media statement:

18 June 2009 - New Defence Force medal planned

Related updates:

For the latest update(s) see Frequently Asked Questions and latest administrative updates - NZDF Medal page of our website

13 October 2009 - NZDF Medal update from the Minister of Defence

10 August 2009 - NZDF Medal Survey - update

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Two part-time Army soldiers recognised with honours

1 September 2009

Two part-time soldiers, members of the Territorial Force (TF) of the New Zealand Army, were among the recipients of Royal Honours at an investiture ceremony in Wellington today.  Both soldiers have been awarded the Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD).

Brigadier Sean Trengrove of Nelson and Major Simon Strombom of Porirua both paid tribute to the support they received from their families. Major Strombom also acknowledged the support of his employer in making his service possible.

Brigadier Trengrove said TF personnel deploying on operational missions face unique challenges in managing relationships with family and employers.

“The absence of TF personnel on a deployment can place serious strain on a workplace so support from employers is important. The Army deploys TF soldiers on a wide variety of operations around the world and in most cases the TF are used to fill gaps in the ranks of the Regular Force or provide short term personnel supplementation”, said Brigadier Trengrove.

“Most TF training is completed in the evenings or at weekends. Unlike their Regular Force colleagues, the families of TF personnel are not used to prolonged absences so family life becomes another area placed under strain.

“Sympathetic, supportive families and employers make a big difference to deployed personnel. Knowing that things on the job front and the home front are stable and taken care of means that TF personnel can focus on the job at hand and perform to the highest standard when deployed.

“The awards we received today are due in large part to the support we got from home while we were overseas. These awards recognise our work but we would never have been able to do that work without family and employers, standing behind us, we could never have deployed and at support”, said Brigadier Trengrove.

Brigadier Trengrove is a father of four who lives in Nelson and runs his own business. Major Strombom is a father of two who lives in Titahi Bay and works for the Ministry of Health.

For further information and requests for interviews, please contact Lieutenant Jeremy Seed: 021-0233-2663

For a photo of the ceremony see the NZDF media release.

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War Hero To Be Honoured By All New Zealanders - Brigadier Reginald Miles

13 August 2009

Associate Minister of Defence Heather Roy was today delighted to attend, and address, a special ceremony at which the medals of New Zealand war hero Brigadier Reginald Miles were donated to the National Army Museum at Waiouru.

"An artillery officer, Brig Miles received 15 decorations - including the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and the Military Cross - and a nomination for the Victoria Cross," Mrs Roy said.

"Remembered as a great leader and soldier, Brig Miles served with distinction in both World Wars - he undertook daring missions, was wounded several times in the line of duty, and was appointed as the first Commander Royal Artillery during WWII.

"Brig Miles' second DSO was awarded after he and two accomplices made a daring escape from a high-security POW camp in Italy and he crossed half of Europe to reach Spain.

"Today's ceremony is the culmination of a decades-long quest by Brig Miles' family to locate, replace and preserve his medals.

"The Government and the New Zealand Defence Force are honoured that the Miles family have generously chosen to donate these medals to the National Army Museum so that New Zealanders now and in the future will be able to recognise and celebrate the bravery of one of our most gallant and illustrious soldiers," Mrs Roy said.

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NZDF Medal Survey - update

10 August 2009

Over 5,700 replies were received to the NZDF Medal: Have Your Say survey. The survey has now closed. The NZDF expresses its thanks to all who took the time to complete the survey.

Nearly 3,300 of the responses were from ex-service persons and more than 2,400 responses were from currently-serving military personnel.

The NZDF Medal: Have Your Say survey was the result of the National Government’s pre-election Veterans' Policy which promised to support the Returned and Services’ Association of New Zealand’s (RNZRSA) proposal to introduce an NZDF Medal to recognise all New Zealanders who have served in our regular and non-regular forces since 3 September 1945.

The results are now being analysed. The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group will present a report to the government on the proposed NZDF Medal by 30 September 2009.

For more information on the proposed medal see the Medal Survey Frequently Asked Questions page.

NZDF is NOT currently accepting applications for the planned New Zealand Defence Force Medal. It is anticipated that a call for applications will happen in 2010.

Related media statement:

18 June 2009 - New Defence Force medal planned

Related updates:

For the latest update(s) see Frequently Asked Questions - NZDF Medal page of our website

13 October 2009 - NZDF Medal update from the Minister of Defence

11 September 2009 - NZDF Medal Survey - update

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Prime Minister congratulates 72 Knights and Dames

1 August 2009

Prime Minister John Key is delighted that 72 recipients of the Principal and Distinguished Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit have decided to take the opportunity to be re-designated as Knights and Dames.

There were 85 New Zealanders eligible to accept a title after The Queen approved the reinstatement of titles to the first two levels of the New Zealand Order of Merit in March.

"This is a real celebration of success and I am very pleased that 87% of those eligible for a title thought so as well.

"When I first decided to bring back titular honours I was confident that many people would embrace the opportunity, but even I am overwhelmed at the large numbers who chose to do so.

"I also respect those who chose not to change their status. This is about people exercising their choice".

The titles will be bestowed at one ceremony at Old St Paul's in Mulgrave Street, Wellington at 3pm on August 14.

"I look forward to congratulating all of our new Knights and Dames at that time."

Related media statements:

27 March 2009 - The Queen approves title changes; Governor-General knighted

8 March 2009 - Titular Honours to be reinstated

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New NZDF Medal- Last chance to have your say

16 July 2009

A survey to gauge public opinion about a proposed new medal for military service is available online.  Join more than 4,300 NZDF personnel and members of the public who have already contributed their opinions.  Survey closes on 23 July, so respond now!

Please forward this information to friends and family who have served in the military since 3 September 1945. Those who have undertaken Regular Force, Territorial Force, Compulsory Military Training or balloted National Service, are all encouraged to have their say about the new medal.


Notes:

The NZDF Medal: Have Your Say survey is available online at www.nzdf.mil.nz/medal-survey

Hard copies of the NZDF Medal: Have Your Say survey can be obtained by our electronic contact form, or writing to the Medals Office, Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force, Private Bag 905, Upper Hutt 5140.

It is preferred for people to complete the online survey.

The Joint Working Group will consider military service undertaken since 3 September 1945.

Personnel who served New Zealand during the Second World War have already been appropriately recognised by the New Zealand War Service Medal.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions - NZDF Medal and the About the proposed medal page for more information.

Related media statements and updates:

For the latest update(s) see Frequently Asked Questions - NZDF Medal page of our website

13 October 2009 - NZDF Medal update from the Minister of Defence

11 September 2009 - NZDF Medal Survey - update

10 August 2009 - NZDF Medal Survey - update

18 June 2009 - New Defence Force medal planned

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NZ Army Officer first Kiwi to receive NATO Meritorious Service Medal

10 July 2009

The first ever NATO Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) to be awarded to a New Zealander was presented to Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Ramsden, MNZM at a special ceremony in Brussels, Belgium.

LTCOL Ramsden, from Petone, was presented with his medal by NATO Secretary-General His Excellency Mr Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, at a North Atlantic Council meeting.

The medal was awarded to LTCOL Ramsden for outstanding service while he was working for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was deployed for six months as the Deputy Chief of Plans on the ISAF HQs, spending some eight weeks as the Acting Chief of Plans.

His medal citation commends his superior leadership and example, stating that “he was extremely proactive, pursuing excellence to ensure the quality and tempo of his branch’s work. He focused on maintaining momentum and the Commander’s intent as multiple command and staff changes occurred, in an often tumultuous environment.”

While in Afghanistan he implemented a combined planning framework with the Afghan National Security Forces. Without hesitation, he developed this into a partnering arrangement which he championed at the HQ ISAF staff level, requiring remarkable resilience and diplomacy to implement.

LTCOL Ramsden said he was honoured to receive the medal, “but it belongs to my wife and kids, they made the sacrifice, this was my fourth operational tour.”

The NATO MSM was first awarded in 2003 to commend military and civilian personnel for providing exceptional and remarkable service to NATO, be it through acts of courage in difficult or dangerous circumstances, exceptional leadership or outstanding individual contributions.

Further information: For information on other foreign awards to NZDF personnel for meritorious service on operations overseas see the Foreign Awards page of our website.

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New British Award: Elizabeth Cross honours families of fallen United Kingdom troops

7 July 2009

Article from the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence website:


Her Majesty The Queen has given her name to a new form of recognition for the families of British Service personnel killed while serving their country, British Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth announced on 1 July 2009.

The new Elizabeth Cross and miniature are to be awarded to the relatives of Her Majesty's Forces personnel killed on active service, together with a Memorial Scroll signed by Her Majesty The Queen

The Elizabeth Cross will be granted to the next of kin of Armed Forces personnel killed on operations or as a result of terrorism in a mark of national recognition for their loss.


This is the first time the name of a reigning monarch has been given to a new award since the George Cross was instituted in 1940 by King George VI for acts of bravery by both civilians and the military. Prior to this, the Victoria Cross was introduced by Queen Victoria in 1856 for acts of gallantry by the Armed Forces.


Next of kin will receive the Elizabeth Cross - a sterling silver emblem in the shape of a cross over a wreath - plus a Memorial Scroll signed by The Queen which will bear the name of the person who died.


The Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll will not just be granted to families who have lost loved ones in the recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan; The Queen's recognition will also be available to the families of those who died in conflicts dating back to 1948, including the Korean War, the Falklands conflict and operations in Northern Ireland.

Further information on, and photos of, the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll can be found on the History and Honours section and Medals section of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence website.

The New Zealand Memorial Cross

The New Zealand equivalent of the Elizabeth Cross is the New Zealand Memorial Cross.  The New Zealand Memorial Cross was instituted in 1947.  It has been awarded to the families of the more than 11,000 personnel who died while serving in the New Zealand Armed Forces during the Second World War, and to the families of the 125 New Zealand military personnel who have died while on operational service since 3 September 1945.

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New Defence Force medal planned

18 June 2009

Media Statement by Defence Minister Wayne Mapp

The Government is to introduce a new Defence Force medal for non-operational military service, meeting a campaign commitment to recognise service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders.

“The RSA had proposed such a medal for a number of years. Fulfilling this commitment will enable New Zealanders who have served to receive recognition similar to that of Australia,” Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said.

“The new medal will acknowledge the unique requirements of military service. These include commitment to the service of the Crown, represented by taking an oath or affirmation of allegiance, being liable for operational service and being subject to military discipline and lifestyle,” he said.

"This medal will also honour the commitment of Reserve personnel, whose service to their country comes over and above their jobs and other activities."

A Joint Working Group on the medal has been set up, chaired by former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade Neil Walter. It includes representatives from the Defence Force, the RSA, Veterans’ Affairs and observers from the Honours Secretariat and the Police.

“The working group will consult the public and current and ex-military service personnel, including those who undertook Compulsory Military Training and balloted National Service, about the proposed medal. This is to ensure that fair eligibility criteria for the new medal are determined,” Dr Mapp said.

A survey to gauge public opinion on the medal was launched today. The survey closes on 23 July and the working group will report back to the Government by 30 September 2009.

Notes:

 

The NZDF Medal: Have Your Say survey is available online at www.nzdf.mil.nz/medal-survey

Hard copies of the NZDF Medal: Have Your Say survey can be obtained by our electronic contact form, or writing to the Medals Office, Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force, Private Bag 905, Upper Hutt 5140.

It is preferred for people to complete the online survey.

The Joint Working Group will consider military service undertaken since 3 September 1945.

Personnel who served New Zealand during the Second World War have already been appropriately recognised by the New Zealand War Service Medal.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions - NZDF Medal and the About the proposed medal page for more information.

Related updates:

For the latest update(s) see Frequently Asked Questions - NZDF Medal page of our website

13 October 2009 - NZDF Medal update from the Minister of Defence

11 September 2009 - NZDF Medal Survey - update

10 August 2009 - NZDF Medal Survey - update

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United States citizens presented with New Zealand Special Service Medal (Erebus)

5 June 2009

Family and friends watched as thirteen United States citizens were today (NZ time) presented the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Erebus) for their work in “Operation Overdue”, the body recovery, crash investigation and victim identification resulting from New Zealand’s worst air disaster.

New Zealand Ambassador Roy Ferguson and the Vice Chief of New Zealand's Defence Force, Rear Admiral Jack Steer, presented the medals to the recipients who included US Navy personnel and transport accident investigators.

Commodore David Anson, head of New Zealand Defence Staff in Washington, made a moving closing address and noted that there were still US personnel yet to be located so they could be presented with the medal.

“Today we have formally acknowledged the personal courage and commitment to a ghastly task in the wake of a tragic accident. The job of locating all the recipients of this award is not yet complete, and we still have another twenty or so to find and formally recognise.”

Retired New Zealand Police Sergeant Mark Penn, the last searcher to leave Mount Erebus, spoke during the ceremony about the tragedy, the difficulty faced by all who were involved in Operation Overdue as they worked to the point of exhaustion, and the vital support from the Americans.

“From the very moment the US Navy launched its search, the American assistance to New Zealand in the recovery operation was unstinting, generous and extensive. For that we will always be grateful,” said Sergeant Penn.

A video message from Prime Minister John Key was played during the medal ceremony, honouring the US citizens involved in Operation Overdue.

For a photo of the ceremony see the NZDF media release.

Images of, and additional information about, the NZSSM (Erebus) can be viewed here.

For further information please contact Angela Gore, NZ Embassy in Washington, +1 202 5505130.

Background - Operation Overdue

The NZSSM (Erebus) was instituted in November 2006 to recognise the service of those New Zealanders, and citizens of the United States of America and other countries, who were involved with the extremely difficult and very unpleasant, hazardous, and extreme circumstances associated with the body recovery, crash investigation and victim identification phases of Operation Overdue. Operation Overdue was mounted by the New Zealand Police following the crash of Air New Zealand DC-10-30 ZK-NZP Flight TE901 on the north slope of Mount Erebus, Ross Island, Antarctica on 28 November 1979, with the loss of all 257 passengers and crew.


The recovery and investigation phase of Operation Overdue lasted in Antarctica from 29 November 1979 to 12 December 1979. The identification phase of the operation at the mortuary of the Auckland University School of Medicine lasted from 6 December 1979 to 12 February 1980.


United States aviation crash investigators and United States Navy personnel worked for long periods on Mount Erebus amongst the wreckage of the flight and the bodies of the passengers and crew. United States Navy aircrew were directly involved with the communications support, supply, and body and personal effects ferry flights to and from the Mount Erebus crash site.


About forty US citizens are eligible to receive the medal. A further 11 medals will be presented or issued separately this year. Efforts are ongoing by NZDF and the NZ Embassy in Washington to identify and locate the remaining eligible United States citizens.

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Defence personnel named in Queen's Birthday honours

29 May 2009

Six New Zealand Defence Force personnel have been named in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours. Details of the awards and recipients have been published on the NZDF website.

Images and background information on the honours and awards awarded to NZDF personnel in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2009 can be found on the following pages of the NZDF Medals website:

- The New Zealand Order of Merit page (which also features an image of the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) )

- The Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) page

- The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) page

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NZ Special Service Medal (Erebus) to be presented to United States citizens

28 May 2009

The New Zealand Special Service Medal (Erebus) will be presented to 11 United States citizens at a ceremony at the NZ Embassy, Washington D.C. on 4 June.

The New Zealand Ambassador Roy Ferguson will present the medals to the personnel, with Vice Chief of Defence Force Rear Admiral Jack Steer and New Zealand Police Liaison in Washington Superintendent Sandra Manderson in attendance. Retired Police Sergeant Mark Penn, one of the last searchers to leave Mount Erebus, will speak. A video message from Prime Minister John Key will also be played.

The presentation will be followed by a reception at the New Zealand Embassy for the recipients, family members and senior members of the US Military.

When: 3pm, 4 June 2009 (equivalent to 7am, 5 June NZ local time)

Where: NZ Embassy, Washington D.C., USA

What: Presentation of New Zealand Special Service Medal (Erebus) to 11 US citizens.

Background - Operation Overdue

The NZSSM (Erebus) was instituted in November 2006 to recognise the service of those New Zealanders, and citizens of the United States of America and other countries who were involved with the extremely difficult and very unpleasant, hazardous, and extreme circumstances associated with the body recovery, crash investigation and victim identification phases of Operation Overdue.

Operation Overdue was mounted by the New Zealand Police following the crash of Air New Zealand DC-10-30 ZK-NZP Flight TE901 on the north slope of Mount Erebus, Ross Island, Antarctica on 28 November 1979, with the loss of all 257 passengers and crew.

The recovery and investigation phase of Operation Overdue lasted in Antarctica from 29 November 1979 to 12 December 1979. The identification phase of the operation at the mortuary of the Auckland University School of Medicine lasted from 6 December 1979 to 12 February 1980.

United States aviation crash investigators and United States Navy personnel worked for long periods on Mount Erebus amongst the wreckage of the flight and the bodies of the passengers and crew. United States Navy aircrew were directly involved with the communications support, supply, and body and personal effects ferry flights to and from the Mount Erebus crash site.


About forty US citizens are eligible to receive the medal, with only 11 able to attend the presentation. A further 11 medals will be presented or issued separately this year. Efforts are ongoing by NZDF and the NZ Embassy in Washington to identify and locate the remaining eligible United States citizens.

Images of, and additional information about, the NZSSM (Erebus) can be viewed here.

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Aid worker posthumously honoured by United Nations

20 April 2009

Arrowtown humanitarian aid worker Nicolas Geoffrey Speight was posthumously honoured in an informal outdoor ceremony at his parents' home on Saturday for his services to peace.


More than 20 members of the Speight family came from Wanaka, Te Anau, Palmerston and Auckland to see Major Peter Aymes, of 4 Otago and Southland Regiment present the distinguished Dag Hammarskjöld Medal to Nicolas' parents, Mairi and David Speight, of Speargrass Flat.

Nicolas Speight (32), a former New Zealand Army officer, was shot and killed in Arbil, northern Iraq, on April 24, 1999. He was working as a programme manager in a United Nations-contracted land-mine clearing operation.

David Speight said the family felt honoured to receive the award.  Not many days went by when he did not think about his son, he said.

Mairi Speight said she had mixed feelings about the medal.  Nicolas was humble and would have thought others should have been recognised for their humanitarian work before him, she said.

Of 1500 Dag Hammarskjöld medals awarded worldwide to the families of civilian and military personnel who died in the service of the UN, only six have been to New Zealanders.

- This article is republished with the permission of the Otago Daily Times.  The original article and the accompanying photo can be viewed on the Otago Daily Times website.

The other five New Zealanders whose families have been awarded the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal by the United Nations are the families of:

- Captain Kelly Ross Banks, Royal New Zealand Engineers, who died in Rome on 13 December 1995 while posted to the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) - Bosnia.

- Staff Sergeant William Edward White, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, who died in East Timor on 25 April 2000.

- Private Leonard William Manning, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, who was killed in action in East Timor on 24 July 2000.

- Private Boyd Reagan Henare Atkins, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, who died in East Timor on 14 March 2001.

- Private Dean Russell Johnston, Royal New Zealand Army Logistics Regiment, who died in East Timor on 28 July 2002.

Related link:

The New Zealand Roll of Honour - 3 September 1945 to the present

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Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal Update

6 April 2009

The President of Timor-Leste, José Ramos-Horta, has approved the award of the Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal to 864 NZDF and NZ Police personnel. These personnel may now wear the ribbon for this medal. Single Services have promulgated within NZDF the lists of those who have been approved to wear this medal. Any questions on eligibility should be directed to single Service admin units or to single Service medals personnel.

The medals are expected to be ready for presentation in New Zealand from June onwards.

Related media statement:

16 February 2009 - Timor Leste President honours Peacekeeping Personnel

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The Queen approves title changes; Governor-General knighted

27 March 2009

Prime Minister John Key announced today that The Queen has finished the formalities needed to reinstate titles in the New Zealand honours system.

Mr Key also announced that the Queen has approved the redesignation of the Governor-General from a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit to a Knight Grand Companion of the Order, effective immediately.

That means the Governor-General’s new title and style will be His Excellency The Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand, GNZM, QSO.

“It is fitting that the Governor-General, as Chancellor of the New Zealand Order of Merit, has a titular honour.

“I am also pleased that The Queen has given her formal approval to the changes I announced on 8 March.”

The Queen formally reinstated the titles by signing the new Amending Royal Warrant, dated 23 March 2009. (see fact sheet).

Fact sheet

The formalities relating to the reinstatement of titles into the New Zealand Honours System have been completed by Her Majesty The Queen signing the new Amending Royal Warrant, dated 23 March 2009. This new Warrant provides for:

- the reinstatement of titles at the two highest levels of The New Zealand Order of Merit; namely:


- Knight and Dame Grand Companion (GNZM); and

- Knight and Dame Companion (KNZM/DNZM).

- the opportunity for Principal and Distinguished Companions of the Order to elect to be redesignated within the Order as Knights or Dames.

- the opportunity for those Principal and Distinguished Companions of the Order who already enjoy a title in another Order of Chivalry, or as a Knight Bachelor, to be redesignated within The New Zealand Order of Merit Order as a Knight or Dame.

- an opportunity for the small number of widows of deceased former Principal and Distinguished Companions of the Order to elect to use the courtesy title of “Lady” for the remainder of their lives.

- those who elect not to accept a title to remain Principal or Distinguished Companions of the Order, and to retain their existing privileges and styles.


The Governor-General holds the office of Chancellor of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Under the provisions of the new Warrant, he retains this office. As the principal office holder of the Order, and with the reinstatement of titular honours, it is fitting that the Governor-General should also hold a titular honour.

The Queen has redesignated the Governor-General from a Principal Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit (PCNZM) to a Knight Grand Companion of the Order (GNZM), effective immediately.

The Governor-General’s new title and style are: His Excellency The Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand, GNZM, QSO. As the wife of a knight, the Governor-General’s wife, Mrs Susan Satyanand, is entitled to use the courtesy title of “Lady”. Her new style is: Her Excellency Lady Satyanand.

Related media statements:

1 August 2009 - Prime Minister congratulates 72 Knights and Dames

8 March 2009 - Titular Honours to be reinstated

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Prime Minister congratulates Sir Donald McKinnon

9 March 2009

Prime Minister John Key has congratulated Don McKinnon on his appointment as Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO).

The Queen has made this appointment today, which is Commonwealth Day, in recognition of his outstanding service as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

"Sir Donald already holds New Zealand's highest honour, the Order of New Zealand, and it is great to see his service has been personally rewarded by the Queen with the GCVO."

Sir Donald McKinnon served as the Commonwealth Secretary-General for eight years from 2000 to 2008 following a 21-year career in New Zealand politics. He was New Zealand's longest serving Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"Sir Donald's contribution to New Zealand is well known, and his equally important contribution to the Commonwealth has now been recognised.

"I congratulate Sir Donald McKinnon on this honour."

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Titular Honours to be reinstated

8 March 2009

Prime Minister John Key has announced that titles are to be reinstated in the New Zealand Honours system.

This situation existed when the New Zealand Honours system was first established in 1996 and the first two levels of the New Zealand Order of Merit were titular.

This will mean the return of the titles of Knight and Dame Grand Companion (GNZM) and Knight and Dame Companion (KNZM/DNZM).

"The Queen has given approval for the reinstatement of titles. The changes will be finalised and come into effect in time for the Queen's Birthday honours list in June.

"It is my pleasure to be able to reinstate these titles that will recognise the service of outstanding New Zealanders."

There are 85 New Zealanders who were appointed Principal and Distinguished Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit between 2000 and 2008 who will now be given the opportunity to accept a title.

"Before the election I commented publicly that the granting of titles was a matter that would be looked at by an incoming National Government.

"This is about celebrating success."

For more information visit the Honours Secretariat website.

Related media statements:

1 August 2009 - Prime Minister congratulates 72 Knights and Dames

27 March 2009 - The Queen approves title changes; Governor-General knighted

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Timor Leste President honours Peacekeeping Personnel

16 February 2009

On 16 February at a ceremony at Premier House in Wellington, Timor-Leste President, José Ramos-Horta, presented five New Zealand Defence Force personnel and a Police Officer with the Medalha Solidariedade de Timor-Leste (the Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal). The medals were given to a representative group to acknowledge the part NZDF and Police personnel played in New Zealand ’s peacekeeping response to violence that broke out in Timor-Leste in 2006.

President Ramos-Horta said the government of Timor Leste had not, until now, had the chance to develop a legal framework to honour those who had served in his country. He said the Medalha Solidariedade de Timor-Leste went some way towards recognising the contribution made by both NZDF and Police personnel to peace in Timor Leste. He also said that a posthumous medal would be awarded to Private Leonard Manning, who was killed while on patrol in East Timor.

Associate Minister of Defence Heather Roy described the presentation of these medals as “a fitting recognition of the challenges these New Zealanders have met and the important role they have played in Timor-Leste’s journey towards peace and stability”. She said it was a "significant and welcome development for Timor-Leste to be in a position to recognise the service of others."

A further 700 NZDF personnel and more than 100 New Zealand Police will receive the medal at separate ceremonies in Timor-Leste and around New Zealand in the coming months. Following the medal presentation President Ramos-Horta chatted with all the medal recipients and their families.

The list of recipients at the 16 February medal presentation can be viewed here.

Images from the Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal presentation and the preceding State Welcome for President Ramos-Horta can be viewed in the Image Gallery of the NZDF website.

Additional information about the new medal can be viewed here.

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Fitting Recognition of New Zealanders' Work - Hon Heather Roy's speech at 16 February medal presentation

16 February 2009

Speech to Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal Presentation Ceremony - Premier House, Wellington - Monday, February 16 2009.

Bom dia, tena koutou katoa, greetings,

President Ramos-Horta, Major General Gardiner, Rear Admiral Ledson, Air Vice-Marshal Lintott, Deputy Commissioner Pope, Assistant Commissioner White, Mr Baguley, medal recipients, ladies and gentlemen.

I warmly welcome each of you and your families, friends and fellow service personnel here today.

Today's medal ceremony marks another milestone in the journey to freedom by Timor-Leste. In the past New Zealanders' service has been acknowledged with medals from the United Nations, Australian and New Zealand Governments.

It is a significant and welcome development for Timor-Leste to be in a position to recognise the service of others. It is an important thread in the fabric of our relationship.

The new medal from the Government of Timor-Leste is fitting recognition of the dedicated work undertaken by New Zealanders in Timor-Leste since 2006. More than 700 New Zealand Defence Force, and over 100 Police, personnel will be awarded the medal this year.

It is my pleasure to invite President Jose Ramos-Horta to speak and to present the first Timor-Leste Solidarity Medals awarded to New Zealanders.

Obrigado. Thank you.

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Presentation of Service Medal by President of Timor-Leste

13 February 2009

President of Timor-Leste José Ramos-Horta will next week honour six New Zealanders for their role in New Zealand's peacekeeping response to the violence that broke out in Timor-Leste in April and May 2006.

At a ceremony at Premier House, Wellington at 12.15pm on Monday 16 February, President Ramos-Horta will present five NZDF personnel and New Zealand Police Officer with the Medalha Solidariedade de Timor-Leste (Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal).

Acting Minister of Defence Heather Roy said that the ceremony would be the first presentation to New Zealanders involved in the Timor-Leste peacekeeping response.

“A further 700 New Zealand Defence Force personnel, and over 100 New Zealand Police, will receive the medal at separate ceremonies in Timor-Leste and around New Zealand over coming months. The next ceremony in New Zealand is expected to be held in June or July.

“The five New Zealand Defence Force personnel and one New Zealand Police officer being awarded medals on Monday have helped provide stability and security in the years following the outbreak of violence in Timor-Leste in April and May 2006.

"New Zealand personnel have experienced many challenges in difficult conditions over the past three years. This medal is a fitting recognition of the challenges these New Zealanders have met and the important role they have played in Timor-Leste’s journey towards peace and stability,” Mrs Roy said.

Police Minister Judith Collins expressed her pride in the New Zealand Police.

"I am immensely proud of our police. I believe that the ability to make personal connections across borders and across cultures is one of the greatest skills Kiwi police possess. By building friendships between people, each of these officers helps strengthen the bonds between our two countries,” Ms Collins said.

The ribbon for the new medal incorporates the national colours of Timor-Leste in a pattern of red, black, white and yellow stripes.

The recipients of the Medalha Solidariedade de Timor-Leste on 16 February are:

New Zealand Defence Force

1. Commander Lance Cook, Royal New Zealand Navy
Served in Timor-Leste as Deputy Commander International Stabilisation Force and New Zealand Senior National Officer from February to August 2008.

2. Major Julie Richardson, New Zealand Intelligence Corps
Served in Timor-Leste as a military adviser to the Timor-Leste Defence Force from September 2007 to September 2008.

3. Sergeant Gary Clark, Royal New Zealand Air Force
Served in Timor-Leste as a helicopter crewman from July to October 2007 and July to October 2008.

4. Corporal Jamie Reid, Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment
Served in Timor-Leste as a stores person from May to December 2006.

5. Corporal Lauren Dwyer, Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps
Served in Timor-Leste as a medic from May to December 2006.

New Zealand Police

6. Superintendent Tony McLeod, New Zealand Police
Served in Timor-Leste as New Zealand Police Contingent Commander from April to October 2008.


Additional Information about the new medal

The qualifying criteria is 180 days service since 1 May 2006 by military personnel and civilian police. Applications have been made by NZDF to the Government of Timor-Leste on behalf of NZDF and NZ Police personnel.

The approving authority for the award of the medal is the President of Timor-Leste. All decisions on eligibility will be made by the Government of Timor-Leste.

Also see the Medalha Solidariedade de Timor-Leste (Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal) page of our website.

Related updates and media statements:

6 April 2009 - Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal Update

16 February 2009 - Timor Leste President honours Peacekeeping Personnel

16 February 2009 - Fitting Recognition of New Zealanders' Work - Hon Heather Roy's speech at 16 February Timor-Leste medal presentation

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Medal Ceremony at Joint Logistic Support Organisation, Trentham Military Camp

9 February 2009

On Monday 9 February six New Zealand Defence Force personnel were presented with medals in front of proud families and colleagues who had gathered at the Joint Logistic Support Organisation (JLSO) Headquarters in Trentham.

JLSO Commander, Air Commodore Stewart Baillie, and the Chief of Army Major General Lou Gardiner congratulated all of the medal recipients and commented that it was great to see so many family members and peers at the ceremony.

Sub Lieutenant Andre Ronald Olivier, Royal New Zealand Navy, was awarded the New Zealand General Service Medal Afghanistan Primary for his service in Afghanistan in 2008.

The Clasp to the New Zealand Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for 30 years service was given to Warrant Officer Class One Graeme Roberts, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, New Zealand Army. Warrant Officer Roberts enlisted into the New Zealand Army in 1975.

The New Zealand General Service Medal (Timor-Leste) was awarded to Flying Officer Liam Peter Shanahan, of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Flying Officer Shanahan had served in Timor-Leste in 2008 as the Camp Adjutant.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal was awarded to Sergeant Darryl McCurdy, Royal New Zealand Air Force.

Warrant Officer Robert Mowat, Royal New Zealand Engineers, NZ Army, was presented with two awards at a ceremony: The New Zealand General Service Medal (Timor-Leste) for his work in the Engineer Surge Team, as well as the Chief of Army Commendation for his exceptional conduct as a JLSO Project Engineer on an NZDF Infrastructure Project. Major General Lou Gardiner had singled out Warrant Officer Mowat for his excellent work on what was a complex infrastructure project saying WO2 Mowat had “set a great example to subordinates, peers and superiors”.

Throughout the building project WO2 Mowat had continually displayed the qualities of commitment, trust and courage - the values that members of the New Zealand Army strive to achieve.

United States Defence Attache Captain Dawn Driesbach, US Navy, presented Major Sholto Stephens the US Command and Staff College Master Tactician award and gifted him a sword at the JLSO ceremony. Major Stephens recently returned to New Zealand after a year at the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Of the 300 students on his course Major Stephens was chosen for the General George S. Patton Jr Master Tactician prize, and his fellow students nominated him for a second honour, the Major General Hans Schlup Award for Excellence in International Relations, of which Major Stephens said “It was very humbling to be even considered for it.”

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Victoria Cross for Australia

16 January 2009

The Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae today congratulated Australian Victoria Cross recipient Trooper Mark Donaldson for his exemplary act of valour.

Lieutenant General Mateparae said: "Trooper Donaldson’s extraordinary bravery in Afghanistan that resulted in him winning this most prestigious of awards show an incredible strength of character, dedication and comradeship under fire. His actions reflect the ethos and values of the ANZAC spirit.”

The Victoria Cross is the highest recognition for gallantry that can be awarded to members of the armed forces of Commonwealth countries.

Notes from the Australian Government:

It has been 40 years since the last Australian received a Victoria Cross. The award to Trooper Donaldson is also the first award of the Victoria Cross for Australia, which was instituted under the Australian honours system in 1991. All previous awards of the VC to Australians were made under the Imperial system.

Further information:

Issue 46, 2009, of Wartime: The Official Magazine of the Australian War Memorial contains an exclusive interview with Trooper Mark Donaldson, as well as articles on 'The Victoria Cross in Australia' and Australians who have been awarded the Victoria Cross. The Australian War Memorial's website is www.awm.gov.au.


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New Year Honours for NZDF Personnel

7 January 2009

On 31 December 2008, it was announced that seven NZDF personnel will receive New Year Honours. Details of the awards and recipients have been published on the NZDF website.

Images and background information on the honours and awards awarded to NZDF personnel in the New Year Honours 2009 can be found on the following pages of the NZDF Medals website:

- The Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) page

- The New Zealand Order of Merit page

- The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) page

- The Queen's Service Order (QSO) page

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 This page was last reviewed 6 March, 2015 and is current.