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2012 Archived Medals News

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2012 News Items

NATO Medal ISAF - policy changes

2 November 2012

Information about NATO medallic policy changes affecting personnel who have served with ISAF in Afghanistan since 1 January 2011 has been added to the NATO Medal ISAF page of our website.

The changes are:

1) Ribbon bars.

[This advice has been updated with more detailed information on 15 November 2012]

Personnel who have been awarded the NATO Medal ISAF for their service with ISAF since 1 January 2011 are eligible to wear the clasp 'ISAF' on the NATO Medal ISAF ribbon when ribbon bars are worn.

This affects personnel whose first tour of duty with ISAF started on or after 1 January 2011.

Special case: Advice from NATO SHAPE HQ in Belgium is that personnel (including CRIB rotation 17) whose first tour of duty with ISAF included the transition date (1 January 2011) are also eligible to wear the clasp 'ISAF' on their ribbon bars, as long as they completed at least 30 days service after 1 January 2011 during that first tour of duty with ISAF.

Not eligible: Personnel who received the NATO Medal ISAF for their service in Afghanistan before 1 January 2011 are not permitted to wear the clasp 'ISAF' on their ribbon bars. Except for the special case discussed above, which affects those whose first tour of duty with ISAF included the transition date (1 January 2011).

2) Numerals.

Numerals for the NATO Medal ISAF were instituted by HQ NATO on 6 December 2010. This change in NATO medallic policy took effect 1 January 2011.

An Arabic numeral multiple-tour indicator is awarded by NATO for return deployments with ISAF of 30 days or more continuous service since 1 January 2011, or for 60 days accumulated service within a two year period (commencing on 1 January 2011).

Return deployments completed before 31 December 2010 will not qualify for a multiple-tour indicator (see Example 2 below).

The NATO eligibility rules also require a break of at least 180 days since the previous qualifying tour of duty (see Examples 2 and 3 below).

A person's second qualifying tour of duty will entitle the person to an Arabic '2'. A third qualifying tour of duty will be depicted by an Arabic '3' and so on.

Example 1:

1st Tour of Duty - 1 January 2008 to 1 July 2008 - NATO Medal ISAF awarded

2nd Tour of Duty - 1 January 2011 to 1 July 2011 - Arabic numeral 2 awarded

Example 2:

1st Tour of Duty - 1 January 2008 to 1 July 2008 - NATO Medal ISAF awarded

2nd Tour of Duty - 1 January 2009 to 1 November 2009 - Nothing awarded

3rd Tour of Duty - 1 January 2011 to 1 July 2011 - Arabic numeral 2 awarded

4th Tour of Duty - 1 January 2012 to 1 July 2012 - Arabic numeral 3 awarded

Example 3:

1st Tour of Duty - 1 July 2010 to 31 December 2010 - NATO Medal ISAF awarded

2nd Tour of Duty - 1 June 2011 to 31 August 2011 - Numeral not awarded as less than 180 days between tours of duty

3rd Tour of Duty - 1 January 2012 to 1 March 2012 - Arabic numeral 2 awarded - as more than 180 days since the end of the tour of duty for which the NATO Medal ISAF was awarded

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The appropriate Arabic numeral multiple-tour indicator is worn on the full-size and miniature medal ribbon, and on the ribbon bar when ribbon bars are worn.

The Arabic numeral multiple-tour indicator is not to be worn on NZDF uniform unless the multiple-tour indicator to the individual has been approved by NATO. This approval will be recorded in an individual's Honours and Awards data in ATLAS / KEA.

If you have any questions about your entitlement for a multiple-tour indicator, please contact the Medals Office (Note: Select the first option from the 'Regarding' drop down menu).

Update - 14 November 2012: The names of eligible personnel from CRIB rotations 19 and 20 have been submitted to NATO ISAF HQ in Afghanistan for formal approval by NATO. Once the formal approval is given, the individuals' Honours and Awards data in ATLAS / KEA will be updated. The lists of eligible personnel from CRIB rotations 17 and 18 and various smaller missions / task groups are currently being compiled by the Medals Office, Trentham Military Camp and will be submitted to NATO ISAF HQ as soon as possible.

3) Numeral and the clasp 'ISAF' on ribbon bars [information added on 15 November 2012].

Given the above rules (see sections 1 and 2), it will be very rare for a NZDF service person to be wearing both a numeral and the clasp 'ISAF' on the NATO Medal ISAF ribbon when ribbon bars are worn.

Such individuals must have been serving on their first tour of duty with ISAF on or after 1 January 2011, and then subsequently redeployed to ISAF for a second time (with a minimum of 180 days between the two tours of duty).

For example:

1st Tour of Duty - 1 April 2011 to 1 October 2011 - NATO Medal ISAF awarded - with authority to wear the clasp 'ISAF' on the NATO Medal ISAF ribbon when ribbon bars are worn

2nd Tour of Duty - 1 October 2012 to 1 April 2013 - Arabic numeral 2 awarded

4) Accumulated service rules.

Service towards the NATO Medal ISAF can also be accumulated, but NATO's rules on how much accumulated service and over what period of time have changed during the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. For those who first deployed to Afghanistan on or after 1 January 2011, 60 days accumulated service within a two year period is required.

For those who first deployed to Afghanistan between 11 August 2003 and 31 December 2010, 30 days accumulated service within a 180 day period is required.

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Reminder on the Order of Wear: The NATO Medal (ISAF) is worn as a campaign medal in accordance with the New Zealand Order of Wear, rather than as a foreign medal. Most NZDF recipients of the NATO Medal ISAF (for 30 days continuous service with ISAF) will wear it immediately after (to the right) of the NZGSM (Afghanistan) primary operational area (usually qualified for after one day's service in Afghanistan).

Personnel on CRIB rotations 1 to 8 who returned to Afghanistan on CRIB rotations 9 to 21 may have other campaign medals between the NZGSM (Afghanistan) primary operational area and the NATO Medal ISAF, if they served in another operational theatre, e.g. the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste or the Sinai, between their tours of duty in Afghanistan.

This variation in order of wear is because campaign medals are worn in order of date of participation by the recipient in the campaign, operation or peacekeeping mission for which awarded. For more information on the Order of Wear see the Explanatory Notes on the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table page of our website.

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Past honoured at Medals Presentation

17 October 2012

Air Cadet James Budge with his late step-grandfather’s New Zealand Defence Service Medal

Caption: Air Cadet James Budge with his late step-grandfather’s New Zealand Defence Service Medal.

 

Wellington College pupil Air Cadet James Budge honoured the past when he accepted the New Zealand Defence Service Medal on behalf of his late step grandfather Air Commodore Ernest Gartrell at a special ceremony at Defence House on Monday 15 October.

The medal was one of a number of NZDSM medals presented by the Minister of Defence, Dr Jonathan Coleman to 28 families of deceased ex-service personnel on their behalf at the ceremony at Defence House in Wellington.

Residents from the greater Wellington region, Masterton and Palmerston North were among the families receiving medals on behalf of their deceased relatives.

AIR CDRE Gartrell had a distinguished career in the RNZAF. He joined in December 1940 and completed two operational tours in Europe before returning to the Pacific. He was held as a prisoner of war from March 1942 to August 1945.

A much decorated airman, AIR CDRE Gartrell was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in October 1946, OBE in 1952 and CBE in 1973.

AIR CDRE Gartrell served as the Commanding Officer at Wigram and Woodbourne and in 1971 became the Deputy Chief of Air Force. He was discharged from the Air Force in November 1973 and died in January 1986.

His son Ernie Gartrell served with the Army. He said, "The reason I wanted my step-son James to receive the medal as it looks to the future generation while honouring the past."

The NZDSM recognises both non-operational and operational military service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders. Those who have served in the military for more than three years since World War Two, and those who completed their compulsory military training or national military service obligations, qualify. Most veterans of J-Force (Japan) and K-Force (Korea) will also qualify.

Since April 2011, when the first applications were called for, more than 43,000 NZDSM medals have been issued.

Applications are now being accepted from all ex-Service persons and from the families of deceased ex-Service persons. (The family member who applies must be the beneficiary of the will and/or the nearest living next of kin).

Information and application forms are on the NZ Defence Force’s Medals website - http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz or phone 0800 334 772 (select Option 2).

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Daughter Stoked With Medal For Dad

17 October 2012

Left to Right: Lieutenant Commander Ralph McNabb who assisted with the presentation, Brenda Chapman (daughter), Lois Jones (daughter), Kylie Chapman (granddaughter), Shane Chapman (grandson) - all of Palmerston North.

Caption: Left to Right: Lieutenant Commander Ralph McNabb who assisted with the presentation, Brenda Chapman (daughter), Lois Jones (daughter), Kylie Chapman (granddaughter), Shane Chapman (grandson) – all of Palmerston North.

Palmerston North resident Brenda Chapman was proud to accept the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) on behalf of her late father Leading Stoker Roy Dickey at a special ceremony at Defence House on Monday 15 October.

Leading Stoker Dickey enlisted in the Royal New Zealand Navy in October 1938 and served on the HMNZS Achilles at the Battle of the River Plate. He also served in Africa, the Pacific and Atlantic theatres. From September 1945 he served in the RNZN on HMNZS Gambia in Japan, including the surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay. He was discharged from the Navy in April 1947 and died in July 2006.

The medal was one of a number of NZDSM medals presented by the Minister of Defence, Dr Jonathan Coleman to 28 families of deceased ex-service personnel on their behalf at the ceremony at Defence House in Wellington.

Residents from the greater Wellington region, Masterton and Palmerston North were among the families receiving medals on behalf of their deceased relatives.

The NZDSM recognises both non-operational and operational military service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders. Those who have served in the military for more than three years since World War Two, and those who completed their compulsory military training or national military service obligations, qualify. Most veterans of J-Force (Japan) and K-Force (Korea) will also qualify.

Since April 2011, when the first applications were called for, more than 43,000 NZDSM medals have been issued.

Applications are now being accepted from all ex-Service persons and from the families of deceased ex-Service persons. (The family member who applies must be the beneficiary of the will and/or the nearest living next of kin).

Information and application forms are on the NZ Defence Force’s Medals website - http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz or phone 0800 334 772 (select Option 2).

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Over 43,000 NZ Defence Service Medals issued so far

4 October 2012

As at 4 October 2012, more than 34,000 NZ Defence Service Medals have been issued to ex-Service persons. In addition, more than 9,000 NZDSMs have been issued to currently serving NZDF military personnel.

For further information see the NZ Defence Service Medal Frequently Asked Questions and latest updates page of our website.

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Governor General presents Awards to New Zealand Defence Force personnel

7 September 2012

Five New Zealand Defence Force personnel received awards at investiture ceremonies at Government House this week presented by His Excellency the Governor General, Lieutenant General Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae.

Warrant Officer Class Two Denis Wanihi (pictured below) received the New Zealand Gallantry Medal for courageous service in Afghanistan in August and September 2010. In one of the incidents, he assisted in neutralising an Improvised Explosive Device that was an imminent threat to both Coalition Forces and the local population.

Warrant Officer Class Two Denis Wanahi receives the New Zealand Gallantry Medal from the Governor-General

Major David Ackroyd (pictured below) was awarded the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) for his work as the Logistics Advisor to the Falintil ‐ Forca de Defesa Timor Leste (F‐FDTL) during a 12‐ month deployment to Timor‐Leste in 2010.

Major David Ackroyd receives the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration from the Governor-General

HMNZS ROTOITI Commanding Officer Lieutenant Layamon Bakewell, Royal New Zealand Navy (pictured below) received the DSD for his work the rescue of 40 crew of the Stricken MV RENA in atrocious conditions in October 2011.

Lieutenant Layamon Bakewell, Royal New Zealand Navy receives the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration from the Governor-General

Warrant Officer Class One Chris Wilson (pictured below) received the DSD for his work as a Patrol Liaison Officer in the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan in 2010 and his ability to take immediate command of the patrol following the death of his Patrol Commander, Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell.

Warrant Officer Class One Chris Wilson receives the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration from the Governor-General

Squadron Leader Aaron Benton, Royal New Zealand Air Force (pictured below) was awarded the DSD for his role in a difficult Antarctic rescue carried out in September 2010, when he was the pilot of an RNZAF P‐3K Orion.

Squadron Leader Aaron Benton, Royal New Zealand Air Force receives the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration from the Governor-General

The photographs are courtesy of Government House.

Related media statements:

4 June 2012 - NZ Defence Force personnel named in Honours List

1 October 2011 - Defence Force personnel receive awards for gallantry

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New Waiouru Medal Repository opens

16 August 2012

The new Medal Repository at the National Army Museum in Waiouru has been opened today by the Defence Minister, Dr Jonathan Coleman.

“This new Medal Repository is world-class and displays the medal collection in a fitting, accessible and secure way,” said Dr Coleman.

“It is a tangible memorial to the brave men and woman who served the country in times of war and at the same time tells the stories of the medal recipients,” he said.

The National Army Museum has ten thousand medals all of which have been donated by families of serviceman. A theft of medals in 2007 put into motion plans to improve the exhibit.

“It’s been a major project for the National Army Museum Trust Board to redesign the medal repository and they can be proud of the outcome. It will be a long term success and attract many interested New Zealanders”.

“The new database included with the displays also means visitors with family connections can locate the appropriate draw with the donated medal and information on their relative,” said Dr Coleman.

The 16th of August was been chosen as the date of the opening because it is a special anniversary for one of New Zealand’s most highly decorated heroes, Reginald Judson. He won the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Conduct Medal, and the Military Medal between July and August 1918.

The Speech by Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Defence

It gives me great pleasure to be given the opportunity to open this newly installed Medal Repository here at the National Army Museum today.

This Museum stands so proudly at the southern entrance way into the Central Plateau and is a fitting national memorial to some 33,000 New Zealand Servicemen and women who have given their lives in the service of this Nation.

It is by coincidence but also fitting that we open this repository in a week the national is debating the recent actions and bravery of New Zealand servicemen under fire.

Some of you here today were with me on Saturday when we attended the Military Memorial Service at Burnham Army camp for Lance Corporals Pralli Durrer and Rory Malone - killed in action in Afghanistan on August 4th in a battle which also left six wounded.

It is the loss and injuries in actions like that why we have museums like this.

It is for recognition, respect, remembrance, and gratitude.

Since the opening of the National Army Museum in 1978, the Medal Repository and the Valour Alcove have been permanent fixtures in our memorial to New Zealand servicemen and women.

From its original conception, the Repository was designed to allow families to view their donated individual items held in the Heraldry Collection but these medals were held in locked drawers. They were accessible only by staff members, who would then be required to escort families to the Repository. Although this was functional, it was time consuming for the staff and somewhat ‘impersonal’ for the visitor.

The Museum, supported by its Trust Board, has worked tirelessly in determining a far better system of presenting the medal collection. As the Museum is the repository of the Nation’s treasures and taonga, it is most appropriate that these objects be displayed as publicly as security allows.

In addition, for many families who have a relationship with a deposited group of medals, these medals can remain the only tangible link to their departed relatives and the viewing of these medals can be a highly emotional experience.

A new Medal Repository had to be a haven that would honour those remembered. It needed to be a respectful area for descendants to view the medals and the Museum wanted all visitors to have unhindered and unescorted access to the exceptional collection with only minimal barriers between the object and the visitor.

In addition, the Museum considered it vitally important to create a medal reference collection that would depict all those medals that have been made available to New Zealanders.

Finally, and the most important aspect for the Museum, was that at least 90% of the Heraldry Collection had to be on display at any one time as this would allow all Museum visitors to acknowledge the achievements of those servicemen and women who have served this Nation.

What we are now about to witness is a world-class Medal Repository that is so fitting for those whose medals are now deposited within this Memorial Museum.

In opening this new Medal Repository today, I am well aware that the 16th of August has specific significance to a number of groups of medals that are on display.

One is the medal group of one of New Zealand’s bravest soldiers – Reginald Judson, Victoria Cross, Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal. In a little over a month, between July and August 1918, Judson won every gallantry medal available to a sergeant at that time. On 24 and 25 July 1918 he led a patrol which captured a German trench who were about to mount a counter attack on New Zealand positions.

For this action he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Twenty two days later, on 16 August 1918, he led a charge against a machine-gun nest. For this action he was awarded a Military Medal. Finally, at Bapaume, ten days after his action where he was awarded a Military Medal, he led a party under heavy fire to capture an enemy position. For this incredible action, he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

The Medal Repository also exhibits the medal group of Reginald Judson’s son; Chaplain 4th Class Reginald Frank Judson, Military Cross. Chaplain Judson won his Military Cross whilst serving in Italy. During an attack he was instrumental in organising a Medical Aid Post whilst under heavy enemy fire. During this action he assisted in dressing wounds and also acted as a stretcher bearer. His citation for the Military Cross indicates that he had been involved in similar actions earlier on in the War.

On the 17th August 1942, the Italian transport ship “NINO BIXIO” was torpedoed in the Mediterranean Sea whilst carrying Prisoners of War from North Africa to Europe.

Among those lost were 120 New Zealand soldiers, most of whom had been captured a month earlier in the disastrous attack to seize the El Mrier Depression. Included in the Medal Repository is the group of medals of the late Corporal Owen Wares of Dunedin. Corporal Wares had been a soldier of the Divisional Cavalry. May he rest in peace.

The Medal Repository is honoured to have, amongst its vast collection, the medal group of Brigadier Ronald Stuart Park, who died 32 years ago, yesterday.

Brigadier Park had an outstanding military career. Graduating from the Royal Military College at Duntroon, Australia, he saw service during World War One on the Western Front and was part of the Allied counter-offensive which eventually brought victory to the Allies. Just prior to the outbreak of World War Two, Brigadier Park was appointed the Military Liaison Officer in London and was responsible for the arrangements for the deployment to England of the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force’s Second Echelon and in 1946 he served as New Zealand’s Military Adviser to the Paris Peace Conference. No sooner had he retired, in 1950, but he was re-enlisted to take command of New Zealand’s military force that had been offered for service to assist the United Nations in Korea. His decorations include a CBE and a CB.

Finally, the Museum has the incredible Petersen medal collection. This collection contains medals awarded to members of this family over many years. There is the medal group awarded to A Petersen for his actions in fighting at such battles as Balaclava; there are three medal groups from this brave family who fought in the New Zealand Army during World War One and then there is the group awarded to an officer who not only saw service in Burma during World War Two, but was also involved in the Malayan campaign and finally during the war in Vietnam.

They were all remarkable people who performed remarkable actions.

Their medals are precious reminders of great achievement and heroism.

It is a Repository that records the lives and unselfish deeds of so many New Zealand servicemen and women who contributed so much, and in many cases, their own lives, so that we can all lead the lives we do today.

I commend the National Army Museum and its Trust Board for the care and respect it has demonstrated.

It now gives me great pleasure in formerly opening this newly installed Medal Repository.

I now declare the Medal Repository officially open.

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Defence Service Medal now available to all ex-Service personnel

26 July 2012

Applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) have now been thrown open to all ex-Service personnel and the families of deceased ex-Service personnel.

Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, says the medal recognises attested military service in the New Zealand Defence Force. New Zealanders who served in the military for three or more years since the end of World War Two, and those who completed their compulsory military training or national military service obligations, qualify for the medal.

“The NZDSM means that a large number of personnel who served New Zealand loyally and well in a wide range of roles and contexts, but not on operations, are now receiving medallic recognition for their work,” says Lieutenant General Jones.

Due to the large number of people eligible for the NZDSM, the call for applications is being managed in four stages, with priority initially given to processing applications from older living ex-Service personnel. Since April 2011, when the first applications were called for, more than 33,000 NZDSM medals have been issued.

“Now it’s the turn of ex-Service personnel and the families of deceased ex-Service personnel eligible for the medal. I encourage them to apply.

The Chief of Defence says hard copies of the application form are also available at many local RSA clubrooms where staff are available to assist ex-Service personnel and family members with their application forms. Ex-Service personnel that have received the NZDSM who would like the medal to be presented to them formally can contact their nearest RSA as a number of branches are arranging presentations in local communities.

For further information see the NZ Defence Service Medal Frequently Asked Questions and latest updates page of our website.

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The NZDF Medal Mounting Standard

9 July 2012

On 28 May 2012 the Chief of Defence Force approved the NZ Defence Force Medal Mounting Standard.

The Standard applies to orders, decorations and medals full-size and miniature, mounted for wear on NZDF uniform for all NZDF personnel including non-regular and NZ Cadet Forces. The Standard also applies to the mounting and wear of ribbon bars, unit citations and service commendations on NZDF uniform.

The NZDF Medal Mounting Standard and the NZDF Signal of 9 July 2012 can be viewed and downloaded from the Wearing Medals page of our website. The Signal lists the main changes within the Standard and contains the instructions for implementing these changes.

Note: The Standard does not apply to ex-Service persons or medal mounting for display purposes in museums or other locations.

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NZSAS soldier Posthumously Recognised for Bravery

3 July 2012

Darrell Smith receives the Charles Upham Award for Bravery from the Governor-General on behalf of the Smith family

Caption: Darrell Smith receives the Charles Upham Award for Bravery from the Governor-General on behalf of the Smith family.

The Charles Upham Award for Bravery was posthumously awarded to Lance Corporal (LCPL) Leon Smith at a ceremony at Government House today.

LCPL Smith has been recognised for his actions as part of a NZSAS Task Force that responded to an insurgent attack on the British Council Office in Kabul on 19 August 2011.

During the response LCPL Smith exposed himself to insurgent fire in order to confirm the location of Corporal (CPL) Doug Grant, who had been wounded. He then ran across open ground to reach CPL Grant, and immediately applied first aid until CPL Grant could be evacuated. Despite his best efforts and those of medics at the scene, CPL Grant died on route to hospital.

Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General (LTGEN) Rhys Jones said LCPL Smith’s family should be extremely proud of his actions that led to the award.

"Tragically LCPL Smith was also killed serving in Afghanistan, however his actions during this particular incident epitomised the values of comradeship, courage and professional integrity.

"His family can take some comfort from knowing that he was a valued member of the NZ Defence Force and that his outstanding bravery has subsequently been recognised," LTGEN Jones said.

LCPL Smith was tragically killed in action Kabul, Afghanistan on 28 September 2011, while securing a compound during a joint Afghan Crisis Response Unit / NZ SAS operation.

LCPL Smith’s brother Darrell received the award from the Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, on behalf of the Smith family.

Related media statements:

2 April 2012 - NZSAS soldier’s bravery to be recognised posthumously

2 April 2012 - Memorial Crosses presented to slain soldiers' families

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Revised application forms for the NZ Defence Service Medal

14 June 2012

Revised and simplified versions of the paper applications forms for the NZ Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) have been added to our website today.

Update on applications - 26 July 2012: Applications are now being accepted from all ex-Service persons and from the families of deceased ex-Service persons.

For further information see the NZ Defence Service Medal Frequently Asked Questions and latest updates page of our website.

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Kiwi veteran’s U.S. honor is complete

(reprint of a media release from the Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Embassy, Wellington)

14 June 2012

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Mullane (ONZM, MBE) of the New Zealand Army will finally receive his official U.S. medal and documentation thirty three years after it was first recommended.

At a ceremony on Monday, June 18 at Devonport’s Returned and Services Association, LTC Mullane will receive the Legion of Merit from visiting U.S. Army Major General Roger F. Mathews, Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Pacific. Also attending the ceremony will be U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, David Huebner and New Zealand dignitaries such as retired Air Vice Marshal Robin Klitscher (representing the RSA), NZDF Army Brigadier Mark Wheeler, Opposition Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs & Trade (and former Defence Minister), Phil Goff MP, Dr Cam Calder MP, Maggie Barry MP and others.

Mullane received the award and supporting documentation in 1979 after serving as an exchange officer at the U.S. Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia. During his exchange he was appointed as Chief of the Leadership Branch, Command and Tactics Department at the School. The award was granted for ‘exceptional abilities and dedication to duty in each of his assignments.’

But due to an administrative oversight, the award documentation was never officially approved before LTC Mullane returned to New Zealand. The U.S. Embassy in Wellington, the Returned and Services Association, and high profile supporters such as U.S. Senator John McCain, have all been working to get the oversight rectified since it was discovered in 2010.

The award certificate has now been signed by the U.S. Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta. The Legion of Merit is the sixth highest award in the order of precedence of U.S. military decorations.

For media enquiries, please contact: Phil McKenna, Public Affairs Specialist, US Consulate General, Auckland, Tel: 09 303 2724 x 2843, Mob: 027 276 7889

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NZ Defence Force personnel named in Honours List

4 June 2012

Six New Zealand Defence Force personnel have been named in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours list today.

The recipients are as follows:

To be a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to forensic science:

Colonel Hugh Gourlay TRENGROVE
Colonels’ List, New Zealand Army
Based in Auckland

To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):

Major David Bruce ACKROYD
Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own)
Based in Waiouru

Lieutenant Layamon John BAKEWELL
Royal New Zealand Navy
Based in Devonport

Squadron Leader Aaron Douglas BENTON
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Based at Whenuapai

Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Richard McASLAN
Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
Based in Burnham

Warrant Officer Class One Christopher James WILSON
Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own)
Based in Trentham

The Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) recognises distinguished military service by regular, territorial and reserve members of the New Zealand Defence Force, including command and leadership and service in an operational environment, or in support of operations.

The citations for the awards

To be a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM):

For services to forensic science:

TRENGROVE, Colonel Hugh Gourlay

Colonels’ List, New Zealand Army

Colonel Hugh Trengrove is the National Disaster Victim Identification Coordinator for Forensic Odontology and coordinated the disaster victim identification efforts following the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

Though due to retire on the day of the 22 February earthquake, he continued in his position as the Chief Advisor Health (J1 Health) at Joint Forces New Zealand and as a qualified Urban Search and Rescue Operative. He personally led efforts to recover human remains for identification as effectively and promptly as possible, especially at the site of the CTV building. He also served with the New Zealand Police Disaster Victim Identification teams in Thailand following the 2004 tsunami. Colonel Trengrove is a specialist restorative dental surgeon, an examiner for the College of Dental Surgeons and manages publications in the New Zealand Dental Journal.

Note: The nomination was endorsed by both the Acting Chief of Defence Force and the Commissioner of Police.

To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):

ACKROYD, Major David Bruce

Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own)

Major Ackroyd served as Logistics Advisor to the Falantil – Forca de Defesa De Timor Leste (F-FDTL) from June 2004 to July 2005. In November 2010, he returned to Timor Leste to serve a second 12 month tour as Logistic Advisor to the Logistic Commander of the F-FDTL. In these roles he trained, provided advice and mentored Timor Leste officers in the tactical and operational aspects of military logistics and encouraged them to find solutions to problems and situations, rather than solving the problems himself and imposing solutions. The outcome has been the considerable improvement in the capacity and overall skill levels in logistics management within the F-FDTL. He has also been pro-active within a multi-national group of advisors whose efforts have created a sound base upon which the F-FDTL will grow and develop their maintenance and support capabilities. Apart from his specialised role, his commitment to the F-FDTL has ensured that recent Falantil Day parades, when the legacy of those who contributed and sacrificed so much for the Independence of Timor Leste are honoured, have been staged in a professional manner. The esteem with which New Zealand is now held within Timor Leste, is due in no small measure to his skills and diplomacy.

BAKEWELL, Lieutenant Layamon John

Royal New Zealand Navy

Lieutenant Bakewell was Commanding Officer of HMNZS ROTOITI, which at 5.00am on 11 October 2011 was ordered to sail to the vicinity of the grounded vessel MV Rena, off the coast of Tauranga. Deteriorating weather conditions overnight had led the Salvage Master onboard Rena to request an evacuation of non-essential personnel. By 6.30am when ROTOITI arrived on the scene, bad weather conditions precluded a transfer by boat. Lieutenant Bakewell then called for helicopter assistance which arrived on the scene at 8.00am. Under his direction, the aircraft managed to evacuate thirteen personnel in three lifts before weather conditions prevented further flying. Rena’s state was now critical. The ship was listing with the hull under immense strain and containers on the stern becoming unstable. An oil slick down wind from the ship had also spread. At 9.30am, the Salvage Master called "MayDay" and sought an immediate evacuation of the remaining twenty-seven personnel onboard. By 9.50am, Lieutenant Bakewell had organised five rigid hull inflatable boats to commence the operation. Due to prevailing and worsening conditions, there were considerable restraints on where the boats could safely operate. All remaining personnel were however safely evacuated from the Rena by 10.48am.

BENTON, Squadron Leader Aaron Douglas

Royal New Zealand Air Force

Squadron Leader Benton (then in the rank of flight lieutenant) was serving with No 5 Squadron in September 2010, when a request was received to prepare an aircraft for a winter aero-medical evacuation from Antarctica. As an experienced P-3K Orion instructor pilot, he was called on to undertake this mission. The patient, an American working at McMurdo Station, was seriously ill and in need of specialist medical care. The Orion left Christchurch to begin the mission on Sunday 12 September, with weather conditions expected to deteriorate approximately four hours after the aircraft’s scheduled departure from Antarctica. However over the space of 15 minutes during the flight south, separate observations showed increasingly blizzard like conditions. He therefore made the decision to turn back. After two days, the weather cleared and a successful landing was made. Faced with an outside temperature of minus 47 degree Celsius, he had a number of factors relating to crew safety to consider when operating in such a harsh and unfamiliar environment. Functions such as loading the patient, refuelling, starting, taxiing and take-off all had to be carefully planned and executed, as well as contingencies for aircraft technical issues and emergencies. His planning and attention to detail ensured that the aircraft and crew remained safe at all times, despite operating at the extremes of both human and equipment performance.

McASLAN, Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Richard

Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

Lieutenant Colonel McAslan served in Afghanistan as the Senior Military Advisor with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team from April to September 2011. During this period, the responsibility for governance and security of Bamyan province was formally handed over to the Afghan authorities. At the same time, the Provincial Reconstruction Team was required to develop strategies to prevent insurgents from disrupting the transition. He also adopted tactics that allowed the Provincial Reconstruction Team to provide a greater presence and level of security in the strategically important north eastern district of Bamyan, without incurring casualties to insurgent attacks on two separate occasions. He also initiated a plan to provide the Provincial government with the means and resources to maintain security in Bamyan when New Zealand forces leave the province. The plan he developed has become the blueprint for how New Zealand will meet the considerable challenges associated with the transition process. The framework has now been set for the New Zealand Defence Force to meet its obligations, in accordance with New Zealand government directives, to train and mentor an Afghan national police force that will eventually assume the responsibility for security in Bamyan.

WILSON, Warrant Officer Class One Christopher James

Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own)

Warrant Officer Class One Wilson served in Afghanistan with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team from April to October 2010. His duty as Patrol Liaison Officer was to establish a network of relationships with both local government representatives and community leaders in the Kahmard and Sayghan districts of Bamyan province, to promote reconstruction efforts in governance, development and security. In June and July, the local communities where he worked were devastated by the worst flooding in living memory. His careful management of scarce resources resulted in significant and much needed relief being provided to the local population. On 3 August, his Patrol Commander (Lieutenant O’Donnell) was killed in an ambush. He had to take immediate command of the patrol, win the resulting fire fight (during which actions by the crew members of the ambushed vehicle and another patrol member who went forward to affect their rescue, have been recognised by gallantry awards) and adopt a defensive position until the arrival of a supporting force. He then also assumed command of the patrol, providing the leadership and guidance necessary for the young soldiers to come to terms with what had been a traumatic event, without losing operational integrity, at a time when security was becoming of increasing concern.

Related media statements:

7 September 2012 - Governor-General presents Awards to New Zealand Defence Force personnel (which includes photos of the presentation of the DSD to four of the above named NZDF personnel).

10 January 2012 - New Year Honours awarded to five NZDF personnel

4 June 2011 - Defence personnel named in Queen's Birthday Honours

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Wearing medals with pride on Anzac Day

23 April 2012

The New Zealand Defence Force is pleased that so many members of the public will join them wearing medals on Anzac Day and have provided some guidance about how medals can be worn with pride.

The rules governing medal wearing in New Zealand known as the Order of Wear specifically allows family members to wear medals of the deceased on the right side for national days of memorial like Anzac Day and Remembrance Day (11 November) and other notable events.

The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones says: "I am delighted to observe a large number of people wearing their relative’s medals to Anzac Day services. By doing so they are reinforcing their relative’s mana and honouring their memory by wearing these medals ‘on parade with their mates’ again. We encourage this practice within the dress conventions agreed to.

"Serving members of the NZ Defence Force are also allowed to wear their deceased relatives medals while in uniform on this day, under the same convention."

Conventions for wearing a relative’s medals include:

• People should only wear one set of medals and they should be directly related to their family, for example, should have belonged to a brother or sister, dad or mum, grandfather or grandmother.

• In all cases these are worn on the right chest.

• Only service medals and decorations mounted on a medal bar (full-size or miniature) can be worn by a relative. It is perfectly acceptable for people to wear miniature medals mounted on a medal bar as the weight is far easier to handle.

• Royal Honours insignia such as neck badges, sashes, sash badges, or breast stars cannot be worn by anyone other than the original recipient. The same rule applies to any Unit and Personal Commendations that the deceased wore on their right chest.

•The occasions on which wearing of relatives medals is permitted are confined to Anzac Day (25 April) and Remembrance Day (11 November). In addition, it may be appropriate for next-of-kin and other relatives to wear relative's medals on an occasion where either the relative's service or the unit in which they served is being commemorated.

Lieutenant General Jones reminds ex-Service people that their medals should be mounted and worn in exactly the same manner as if they were in uniform, on the left chest.

"Anzac Day is a day in which as a country we commemorate the efforts of ordinary New Zealanders in the service of their country. The wearing of medals is a tradition that links our past, with those serving today."

Further information:

For more information see the Wearing medals page of our website.

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Current serving military personnel - New Zealand Defence Service Medals issued for 1990s decade

4 April 2012


This week 1350 NZ Defence Service Medals (NZDSM) will be released to units of current serving military personnel who enlisted in the NZDF in the 1990s.

For further information see the NZ Defence Service Medal Frequently Asked Questions and latest updates page of our website.

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NZSAS soldier’s bravery to be recognised posthumously

2 April 2012

During the presentation of the NZ Memorial Cross to the family of Lance Corporal Leon Smith, the Prime Minister today announced that he would also become the latest recipient of the Charles Upham Award for Bravery.

The award is made to the person who has risked their life to undertake an outstanding act of heroism during the previous two calendar years, as determined by the Charles Upham Trust Committee.

Nominations are called for each year from organisations such as the NZ Defence Force, NZ Police, NZ Fire Service, Civil Defence and the Surf Life Saving Association in addition to the public.

On 19 August 2011, Lance Corporal Smith was part of a NZSAS Task Force that responded to an insurgent attack on the British Council Office in Kabul, Afghanistan. Also present was Corporal Doug Grant, who was tragically killed during the incident.

During the response, Lance Corporal Smith had exposed himself to insurgent fire in order to confirm Corporal Grant’s location after he had been mortally wounded. He then ran across exposed and open ground in order to reach Corporal Grants location, and immediately started applying first aid until he could be evacuated.

The announcement means that LCpl Smith will become the 24th recipient of the Charles Upham Award for Bravery when it is presented by the Governor General at a time and place yet to be determined. He will also become the fourth member of the NZ Defence Force to receive the award.

Background Information

Lance Corporal Leon Smith enlisted into the New Zealand Army on 23 August 2005 and completed NZSAS Selection in 2006 and the NZSAS Basic Cycle of Training in 2007. He had previously served in Afghanistan with the NZSAS over the period January - October 2010 and started his second Tour of Duty in August 2011. He was killed in action on 28 September 2011.

The Charles Upham Award for Bravery

The Charles Upham Award for Bravery stems from public recognition of the gallantry of Captain Charles Upham, VC and Bar. Shortly after World War 2, money which was originally raised by the people of Canterbury to purchase a farm for Captain Upham was declined by him and at his suggestion was used to fund scholarships for returned servicemen or their sons or daughters at the University of Canterbury or Lincoln College. The purpose of the original scholarship ran its natural course and in 1976 the Bravery Award was initiated. The Charles Upham Award for Bravery is made annually to the person, who, in the opinion of the Trust Committee, has, at risk to his or her own life, performed the most outstanding act of heroism during the previous two calendar years.

Previous Recipients of the Charles Upham Award for Bravery

1981 Sgt Peter Stanley Burton, RNZAF
1982 Const Mark Gregory Davidson, NZ Police
1983 No award made
1984 Able Seaman David Daniel Douglas, RNZN
1985 Const Stephan Anthony Linney, NZ Police
1986 Mr James Anthony Gilligan, Civilian
1987 Mr Stephan Ralph John Ching, Civilian
1988 Mr Graeme John Finn, Civilian
1989 Sgt John Akurangi, NZ Army
1990 No award made
1991 Mr Joseph Boyd Goodwin, NZ Fire Service
1992 Mr Ate Heineman, Civilian
1993 Miss Jacinda Amey, Civilian
1994 Mrs Evelyn Winslade, Civilian
1995 Const Massey Vaughan Coffin, NZ Police
1996 Sgt Christopher Anthony Maude, NZ Police
1997 No award made
1998 Mr Craig Smart, Civilian
1999 Mr Maurice Knowles, Civilian
2000 Mr David Gibson, NZ Fire Service
2001 No award made
2002 Ms Stacey Watson, Civilian
2003 Mr John William Hare, Civilian
2004 Mr Robert John Van Hale, Civilian
2005 Mr Jamie Fisher, Civilian
2006 Senior Sgt Alister Dickie, NZ Police
2007 No award made
2008 No award made
2009 Const James Muir, NZ Police

Related media statement:

2 April 2012 - Memorial Crosses presented to slain soldiers' families

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Memorial Crosses presented to slain soldiers' families

2 April 2012

The families of two NZSAS soldiers tragically killed in Afghanistan last year were presented with the New Zealand Memorial Cross by Prime Minister John Key today.

Family members of both Corporal Doug Grant and Lance Corporal Leon Smith attended a closed ceremony in Papakura Military Camp, which was also attended by senior members of the NZDF and colleagues from the NZSAS Regiment.

The New Zealand Memorial Cross is presented to family members of New Zealand Service personnel who lose their lives during, or as a result of, operational service outside New Zealand.

Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones said the medal recognises that it is not only the soldiers themselves that make sacrifices in the service of New Zealand, but also their families.

"Both Corporal Grant and Lance Corporal Smith died in the service of their country, and in doing so they made the ultimate sacrifice. Today those sacrifices, along with the impact that these tragic events have had on their families, is remembered".

CPL Grant was shot by insurgents while attempting to free captives held in the British Council offices in Kabul on 19 August 2011. He died from his injuries en route to hospital.

LCPL Smith was killed on 28 September 2011 after being struck by a bullet fired by an insurgent while securing a compound during a partnered operation with the Afghan Crisis Response Unit.

The families of both Corporal Grant and Lance Corporal Smith do not wish to make any comment at this time.

Related media statement:

2 April 2012 - NZSAS soldier’s bravery to be recognised posthumously

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Over 24,800 NZDSMs issued

16 March 2012

Since April 2011 more than 24,800 New Zealand Defence Service Medals (NZDSM) have been issued. Between April 2011 and December 2011 more than 18,000 NZDSMs were distributed, as discussed in detail in our 21 December 2011 update.

Between 1 January 2012 and mid-March 2012 more than 6,800 NZDSMs have been issued. Over 5,500 have been sent to ex-Service persons and more than 1,250 to current NZDF military personnel. Of the ex-Service persons, over 1,980 have been issued with the CMT clasp, over 480 with the National Service clasp, more than 2,250 with the Regular Force clasp, and over 500 issued the Territorial clasp for Territorial / Reserve service. In addition, over 300 ex-Service persons have been issued the NZDSM with two clasps because they completed the service requirements for two or more clasps, e.g. three years in the Regular Force and three efficient years in the Territorial / Reserve Forces. Seven ex-service persons have been awarded three clasps.

Update 26 July 2012: Applications are now being accepted from all ex-Service persons and from the families of deceased ex-Service persons.

For further information see the NZ Defence Service Medal Frequently Asked Questions and latest updates page of our website.

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Update on NZDSM for current serving military personnel

12 March 2012

Current serving military personnel in the NZDF (both regular and reserve) are asked not to contact the HRSC or NZDF Medals Office about their New Zealand Defence Service Medals (NZDSM).  The medals will be issued by the Medals Office in the approximate order of when personnel joined the NZDF, with the longest serving personnel receiving the medal first.

Members of the NZDF being released

Eligible members of the NZDF who were serving as at 14 April 2011, and are currently under release action, will only be issued with their NZDSM out of sequence in exceptional circumstances.  Please refer to the Military Admin & Pay intranet site for further information.

When will I receive the NZDSM?

If you enlisted during the 1990s, these medals should be dispatched no later than the end of March 2012.

If you enlisted during January 2000 to January 2010, Army personnel should expect to receive their medals no later than the end of May 2012.  Navy and Air Force personnel should expect to receive their medals no later than the end of July 2012.

How do I wear the NZDSM?

Current serving military personnel are not to wear the ribbon for the NZDSM until the NZDSM has been officially presented to them. 

Wearing of the NZDSM medal which has not been remounted

Current military personnel can only wear the NZDSM without remounting if the medal is their first or second medal.  If the NZDSM is the member’s second medal, then temporary permission to wear un-remounted medals may be agreed to by the member’s unit command, as long as the medals looks neat and tidy.  Medals that are not neat and tidy (or worn in the wrong sequence) bring the NZDF into disrepute. 

Exception: If the NZDSM is to be worn at a parade, e.g. ANZAC Day, it must be mounted.

NZDSM Medal Remounting & Further Information

The Military Admin and Pay intranet site provides full details about the NZDSM remounting process, including what you need to do and the process that must be followed. 

Information for ex-Service persons

Update 26 July 2012: Applications are now being accepted from all ex-Service persons and from the families of deceased ex-Service persons.

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New Year Honours awarded to five NZDF personnel

10 January 2012

Five New Zealand Defence Force personnel were among the New Zealanders named in this year’s New Year Honours.

Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Tony Parr, has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM). Since his appointment as Chief of Navy in May 2009, Rear Admiral Parr has overseen the successful introduction into service of the new ships of Project Protector Fleet. Over his 32 year naval career, he has held a range of staff and command appointments at sea and ashore and has consistently performed in a superior and exemplary manner providing leadership and direction.

The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) has been awarded to four NZDF personnel.

Colonel John Boswell deployed to Afghanistan in April 2010 as the Commanding Officer of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) in Bamyan. He initiated the development of a strategic plan to transition from a military-led operation to a civilian-led and finally Afghan managed operation. The first stage of the transition occurred in June 2010, when leadership of the NZPRT passed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade with the appointment of a civilian director, without disruption to ongoing operations.

Squadron Leader Keith Bartlett was posted to the Orion P-3 Systems Upgrade Project in Greenville Texas in 2008. At the time of the posting, he had no time to qualify as an Orion Qualified Flight Instructor. His deployment was continually extended due to unforeseen aircraft flight performance issues. These challenges required flight testing well beyond the scope, complexity and duration of the original flight test programme.

With no formal training and minimal preparation, he was also required to develop and verify flight deck instrumentation and automation procedures, train the flight deck crew and manage systems engineers and operators conducting mission systems integration testing onboard the modified P-3K2 aircraft. These were development testing events that a senior Qualified Flight Instructor would be unlikely to encounter during the entire span of a career. SQNLDR Bartlett’s contribution was instrumental to the successful completion of the P-3K2 aircraft project.

Lieutenant Commander Simon Griffiths is the Commanding Officer of the Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Wellington. He led the ship through the introduction into service trials and unit readiness evaluation. The successful conclusion was the ship’s operational deployment in February 2011 to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. This was the first Navy visit to the area in 40 years and while there is much historical information on operations in the area, there was neither practical experience operating a vessel like the HMNZS Wellington nor current knowledge of ice navigation.

While the ship was departing the Ross Sea, a distress signal was received from a recreational adventure vessel. With limited communications back to New Zealand due to bad weather conditions, he instituted a considered and measured approach to the call. The ship spent 12 hours conducting an extensive, but what provided to be unsuccessful, search for the yacht or her life boat and crew.

Squadron Leader Russell Kennedy has served in the RNZAF since January 1978, during which time his name has become synonymous with flight safety. He has held various roles as an aircraft investigator and as Air Force Safety Officer. He has led or assisted in over 25 aircraft accidents or incidents. His expertise is also recognised in the civilian flight safety sector and he has been call on to assist both the Civil Aviation Authority and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission on many occasions, most recently the crash of the Air New Zealand Airbus A320 off the coast of France. He is also Secretary of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Air Safety Investigators. SQNLDR Kennedy’s contributions to the safety of flights in Australia and New Zealand have benefited the aviation industry and the general public.

Note: The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) recognises distinguished military service by regular, territorial and reserve members of the New Zealand Defence Force, including command and leadership and service in an operational environment, or in support of operations.

Related media statement:

5 January 2011 - New Year Honours for NZDF personnel

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 This page was last reviewed 12 January, 2018 and is current.