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2015 Archived MEDALS NEWS

NZ Defence Service Medals presented at Parliament on 14 April 2011.

Gallantry awards mark courage and service

3 December 2015

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has paid tribute to the courage and high standards of service exhibited by New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel who have been recognised in the Special Honours List released by Government House today, and also those who have received honours announced by the Chief of Defence Force.

“A range of honours have been conferred today, for gallantry and other outstanding service in two of the NZDF’s most demanding deployments of recent times, Afghanistan and South Sudan.

“Those locations are far apart on the map, but what these officers and soldiers have in common is a dedication to their duty in the most dangerous circumstances, in keeping with New Zealand’s long tradition of maintaining the highest standards of military service,” Mr Brownlee says.

One of today’s awards has had to be made posthumously.

“Lance Corporal Rory Malone gave his life in the service of New Zealand,” Mr Brownlee says.

“His sacrifice, and that of other personnel who lost their lives, must never be forgotten.

“The core values of the NZDF are courage, commitment and comradeship.

“These personnel have exemplified those values. I am proud of them all.”

More information:

For the list of recipients and the citations (for the New Zealand Gallantry Awards) see the 3 December 2015 - Special Honours for soldiers news item below.

Notes:

About the New Zealand Gallantry Awards
• New Zealand Gallantry Awards recognise military and support personnel who perform acts of gallantry while involved in war and warlike operational service, including peacekeeping.
• The level of award is generally determined by the nature of the incident which has resulted in the act of gallantry, including the level of danger of the operational service, and whether there is any threat caused by an enemy (or ‘belligerent’). The leadership or initiative shown by a person, whether acting under orders or otherwise, may also be taken into account.
• There are four levels of award. In descending level, these are:

The Victoria Cross for New Zealand (VC) – for most conspicuous gallantry, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy or of belligerents;
The New Zealand Gallantry Star (NZGS) – for acts of outstanding gallantry in situations of danger;
The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration (NZGD) – for acts of exceptional gallantry in situations of danger;
The New Zealand Gallantry Medal (NZGM) – for acts of gallantry.

• Nominations come up through the chain of command at the New Zealand Defence Force to the Chief of Defence Force. The Queen formally approves awards of the VC, NZGS and NZGD on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Governor-General formally approves awards of the NZGM on the advice of the Prime Minister.

• For more information on the awards, see the Honours Unit website or the Gallantry and Bravery Awards section of the NZDF Medals website. The rolls of the recipients of these awards are on the Honours Unit website.

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Special Honours For Soldiers

3 December 2015

Lieutenant General Tim Keating, Chief of Defence Force, has paid tribute to today’s recipients of New Zealand Gallantry Awards and Awards for Distinguished and Meritorious Service.

This morning Government House announced the following New Zealand Gallantry Awards to current serving and former members of the New Zealand Defence Force in a Special Honours List:

Major Geoffrey Michael Faraday, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps (Retired). Awarded the New Zealand Gallantry Star (NZGS) for outstanding gallantry in two separate incidents in South Sudan over the period 17 to 29 April 2014.

Sergeant David John Duncan, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps. Awarded the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration (NZGD) for exceptional gallantry during the incident at Baghak, Afghanistan on 4 August 2012.

Lance Corporal John Frank Manila Luamanu, Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers. Awarded the New Zealand Gallantry Medal (NZGM) for gallantry during the incident at Baghak, Afghanistan on 4 August 2012.

The late Lance Corporal Rory Patrick Malone, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. Awarded a posthumous New Zealand Gallantry Medal for gallantry during the incident at Baghak, Afghanistan on 4 August 2012.

Sergeant (then Corporal) Ewen Vanner, DSD, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps. Sergeant Vanner was awarded the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) in the New Year Honours List 2014; for his conduct in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan on 4 and 5 August 2012; however, for operational reasons his award could not be announced at that time.

“It is also my pleasure to announce two awards of the New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) and one award of a Chief of Defence Force Commendation to the following in recognition of their outstanding service in Afghanistan in 2012,” says LTGEN Keating.

Captain (then Lieutenant) Peter Ryan Hutson, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. Awarded the New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal for meritorious service as Patrol Commander in Afghanistan over the period May to July 2012.

Lance Corporal Samuel Tobias Millar, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (Retired). Awarded the New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal for meritorious service during the incidents in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan on 4, 5 and 19 August 2012.

Trooper James Ewen Baldwin, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps (Retired). Awarded a Chief of Defence Force Commendation for his gallant actions at Baghak on 4 August 2012.

“I congratulate all the personnel who have been honoured this week for the way they conducted themselves in the challenging environments of Afghanistan and South Sudan," LTGEN Keating says.

“They carried out their duties, and more, in the best traditions of the New Zealand Defence Force, and they are a credit to us all.”

Citations

Major (Retired) Geoffrey Michael Faraday has received the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration. His citation reads:

On 17 April 2014, an armed mob of civilian demonstrators gathered in Bor township, with the intention of moving on to the United Nations Mission in Southern Sudan (UNMISS) base to protest against the UN presence. Major Geoffrey Faraday voluntarily led a group of Military Liaison Officers to establish a mobile observation post and in doing so was able to issue a warning that the mob was approaching a camp occupied by thousands of displaced persons. The mob breached the camp perimeter and began to attack the occupants with rifles and machetes.

Major Faraday arrived at the camp as the attack began and began coordinating the soldiers defending the camp, and at one stage he attempted to personally intervene while under threat by an armed attacker. Without regard for his safety, he reported on the situation to UNMISS Headquarters and was able to guide the quick reaction force to counter the penetration of the camp perimeter. The attack left 53 civilians dead and afterwards Major Faraday was one of the few people who went out into the camp to search for those in need of medical attention.

Following the attack on the camp at Bor, Major Faraday was deployed on a convoy of four barges with civilian crew and a protection force of UN peacekeepers on board, tasked with taking essential food and fuel supplies along the White Nile River to the UN Camp in the town of Malakal.

On the morning of 24 April 2014 the convoy came under heavy attack from a company of the South Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), occupying prepared positions on the west bank of the river. During the attack the fuel barge carrying Major Faraday sustained damage to one of its engines and became detached from the rest of the convoy, drifting towards the enemy on the river bank. It drifted to a stop 200 metres from the SPLA position, where intensified fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades struck the barge. The SPLA then tried to close in on the barge, but were repelled by the UN soldiers on board, four of whom were wounded during the fight. Major Faraday took control of the situation, though he had no command authority over the UN soldiers or the civilian barge crews. For four hours from the start of the attack until mid-afternoon, the convoy was kept under constant fire. Throughout this period, Major Faraday provided leadership to all on board the barges, moving under fire between firing positions encouraging the soldiers to fight back, and ensuring the four casualties were being attended to. He exposed himself to enemy fire on a number of occasions to maintain his situational awareness and provide regular reports to the UN Force Headquarters on the state of the battle and to request fire support and assistance.

Realising that assistance would not be available, he made the decision to abandon the two fuel barges, transfer the personnel, casualties and stores to the two ration barges and withdraw the convoy out of danger, which he managed to achieve by nightfall, finding a safe harbour site with an anti-SPLA unit. After the fire-fight and withdrawal, Major Faraday reported to the UN Headquarters that the two fuel barges were probably adrift on the Nile, resulting in the barges being salvaged and recovered to Malakal.

Major Faraday’s outstanding gallantry and leadership resulted in a successful conclusion to the battle with the rebel forces and prevented loss of life among the convoy’s 72 civilian and military personnel, and also enabled the UN’s northern base in South Sudan to remain operational.

Sergeant David John Duncan has received the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration. His citation reads:

On 4 August 2012, KIWI Company of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team was tasked with assisting a unit of the Afghan National Directorate of Security near the village of Baghak. Shortly after midday nine of the company’s vehicles, spread out over 400 metres on a narrow road, came under heavy small arms fire from concealed insurgent positions on the high ground on both sides of the road. Sergeant David Duncan was in command of a Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) that was part of a separate three-vehicle patrol positioned to the south of the vehicles which had come under attack.

As the battle with the insurgent forces intensified and KIWI Company sustained a number of casualties, the three patrol vehicles moved north to assist. Approaching the contact site, the lead vehicle of Sergeant Duncan’s patrol came under heavy fire from high ground to the north-east and west of their position. As the lead vehicle came to a halt, Sergeant Duncan noticed a New Zealand soldier lying on the road in front of it exposed to insurgent fire. Unable to get past the lead vehicle due to the narrow road, he manoeuvred his LAV behind it approximately 20 metres from the casualty. He dismounted his vehicle and ran forward alone and exposed to enemy fire from both sides of the road to assist. Reaching the casualty, who had sustained a serious gunshot wound to the lower abdomen, Sergeant Duncan dragged him back across the open ground until he reached the rear of the lead patrol vehicle, where he handed the casualty over to the Company’s Nursing Officer for treatment. Sergeant Duncan then received a gunshot wound to his right leg as returned to his original vehicle.

Sergeant Duncan’s exceptional gallantry in crossing open ground exposed to enemy fire enabled a seriously wounded soldier to receive the medical treatment that saved his life. His actions were in the finest traditions of the New Zealand Army.

Lance Corporal John Frank Manila Luamanu has received the New Zealand Gallantry Medal. His citation reads:

On 4 August 2012, KIWI Company of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team were tasked with assisting a unit of the Afghan National Directorate of Security near the village of Baghak. Shortly after midday nine of the company’s vehicles, spread out over 400 metres on a narrow road, came under heavy small arms fire from concealed insurgent positions on the high ground on both sides of the road. Lance Corporal John Luamanu was travelling in a Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) that was part of a separate three-vehicle patrol, positioned to the south of the vehicles which had come under attack.

As the battle with the insurgent forces intensified and KIWI Company sustained a number of casualties, the three patrol vehicles moved north to assist. Approaching the contact site, the lead patrol vehicle came under heavy fire from high ground to the north-east and west of their position. As the lead vehicle came to a halt, the patrol's second in command Sergeant Duncan moved forward and recovered a New Zealand casualty, bringing him to the rear of the lead vehicle for treatment by the Company’s Nursing Officer. As Sergeant Duncan returned to his own vehicle he received a gunshot wound to his right leg and fell to the ground. Lance Corporal Luamanu assisted a comrade to move Sergeant Duncan to the rear of the LAV.

Orders were then received to move Sergeant Duncan to another vehicle that had other casualties on board for evacuation to the Casualty Clearing Post. Lance Corporal Luamanu picked up Sergeant Duncan and carried him 20 metres over open ground, exposed to insurgent fire, to the rear of the designated casualty evacuation vehicle. On arrival they found that it was already full and the only alternative transport was the third vehicle of their own patrol, which meant retracing their steps over the open ground they had just crossed. Without hesitation, Lance Corporal Luamanu picked up Sergeant Duncan once again and carried him safely to the rear of the third patrol vehicle to be transported to the Casualty Clearing Post for treatment.

Lance Corporal Luamanu displayed both gallantry and comradeship in twice carrying a wounded colleague over open ground and under enemy fire to ensure his safety.

The late Lance Corporal Rory Patrick Malone has been posthumously awarded the New Zealand Gallantry Medal. His citation reads:

On 4 August 2012, KIWI Company of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team was tasked with assisting a unit of the Afghan National Directorate of Security near the village of Baghak. Shortly after midday nine of the company’s vehicles, spread out over 400 metres on a narrow road, came under heavy small arms fire from concealed insurgent positions on the high ground on both sides of the road. At the time the attack began, Lance Corporal Rory Malone was providing observation and cover at the front of his vehicle, as the Company Commander was being briefed at the same vehicle by one of his officers.

As the insurgents began firing at his vehicle from both the north-east and south-west, Lance Corporal Malone returned fire at the group that was firing from the south west. The Company Commander then sustained a gunshot wound and fell to the ground. Working with another officer, Lance Corporal Malone assisted in dragging the Company Commander to the rear of the vehicle where he might receive treatment for his wound. While the officer treated the Company Commander inside the vehicle, Lance Corporal Malone remained outside in a relatively exposed position providing cover and engaging insurgent positions to the south-west. It was at this time that he was struck in the right hip by a bullet that failed to penetrate his body armour.

As soon as the Company Commander had been stabilised, the driver of Lance Corporal Malone’s vehicle prepared to leave the contact site for the Casualty Clearing Post. There was no room in the rear of the vehicle, so Lance Corporal Malone had to move down the exposed west side of his vehicle to reach the passenger door. As he opened the door he was struck in the chest by an insurgent bullet and killed.

Throughout this incident, Lance Corporal Malone displayed both gallantry and comradeship in providing assistance and covering fire to his wounded Company Commander while in positions that were exposed to insurgent fire.

Corporal Ewan Vanner has received the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration. His citation reads:

Corporal Ewen Vanner served in Bamyan Province Afghanistan from April to October 2012 as a member of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team.

He served as crew commander of the lead Light Armoured Vehicle for Kiwi Team One patrol. On 4 August 2012, his patrol was tasked to assist two other New Zealand patrols and a unit of Afghan security forces who had sustained casualties while under attack near Dahane Baghak village. He led Kiwi Team One into the engagement area, successfully firing on insurgent positions, allowing the remainder of his patrol to evacuate casualties. When the patrol’s second in command was shot he took over this role and coordinated with his commander to direct coalition aircraft attacks on the insurgents and maintain contact with New Zealand troops who had become isolated. He remained as patrol second in command, a position normally filled by a soldier of sergeant’s rank, for the remainder of the deployment. On 5 August 2012, a Forward Patrol Base in Do Abe town was attacked and his patrol was called in to assist. The patrol faced threats of Improvised Explosive Devices and insurgents occupying parts of Do Abe. Corporal Vanner calmly coordinated with assisting support and aerial surveillance aircraft, displaying outstanding professionalism and leadership

Related media statement:

3 December 2015 - Gallantry awards mark courage and service

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Update on the Long Service Awards Review

2 December 2015

Changes to the eligibility rules for the existing ten New Zealand military long service awards are expected to be announced by mid-2016, once the governing Royal Warrants and accompanying regulations are in place.

Additional work is currently being undertaken on the definitions of ‘Efficient Service’ and ‘Character and Conduct’ which will be included in the new regulations.

As advised on 25 August 2015, the existing long service awards will remain, but the entitlement criteria will allow all eligible New Zealand military service to be counted. For example, service will be able to be accumulated rather than continuous (as is currently required for some awards). This will deliver a fairer system while maintaining the standing of the long service awards.

The appropriate long service award issued will reflect the majority of each recipient’s service. Persons who already have a long service award will continue to wear the award they have. There will be no swapping of awards.

Current serving military personnel will not need to apply for their long service entitlement to be assessed under the new rules. They will be automatically assessed via the data in their SAP HCM records. Please note that given the number of eligible personnel it may take around six to nine months after the announcement to confirm and issue the medal entitlement for every current serving military Service person.

Applications from eligible ex-Service persons are expected to be called for in the second half of 2016.

Full information on the changes will be released at the time of the formal announcement.

Also see:

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Approval for the wear of the NATO Medal with clasp 'AFGHANISTAN' - for service since 1 January 2015

20 November 2015

The Chief of Defence Force has approved the wear of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Medal with clasp 'AFGHANISTAN' by eligible New Zealand Defence Force personnel.

The NATO Medal with clasp 'AFGHANISTAN' is awarded to New Zealand Defence Force personnel who have 30 days or more continuous service with NATO's Operation Resolute Support since 1 January 2015, or for 60 days accumulated service within a two year period since 1 January 2015.

It is not awarded for earlier service as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The ISAF mission ended on 31 December 2014 and was replaced by NATO's Operation Resolute Support.

The ribbon for the NATO Medal with clasp 'AFGHANISTAN' is identical to the ribbon of the NATO Medal ISAF. The difference is that the clasp 'AFGHANISTAN' is worn.

Personnel who been awarded both the NATO Medal with clasp 'AFGHANISTAN' and the NATO Medal ISAF (for earlier service) are to wear both medals on New Zealand Defence Force uniform.

Ribbon bars. Personnel who have been awarded the NATO Medal with clasp 'AFGHANISTAN' wear the clasp 'AFGHANISTAN' on the ribbon when ribbon bars are worn.

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Miniature medals can now be purchased online directly from Eng Leong Medallic (ELM)

1 September 2015

Miniature medals can now be purchased online directly from our supplier, Eng Leong Medallic (ELM) - http://elm.com.sg

Alternatively, ex-Service persons and family members can purchase miniatures from various medal dealers in New Zealand, whose contact details can be found via a Google search, e.g. search for ‘replica medals nz’, or in the Yellow Pages, e.g. by searching for ‘medals’.

Also see:

Applying for your miniatures

Miniatures of your family members' medals

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Update on the Long Service Awards Review

25 August 2015

Changes to the eligibility rules for the existing ten New Zealand military long service awards are expected to be announced by December 2015, once the governing Royal Warrants and accompanying regulations are in place.

Essentially, the existing long service awards will remain, but the entitlement criteria will allow all eligible New Zealand military service to be counted. For example, service will be able to be accumulated rather than continuous (as is currently required for some awards). This will deliver a fairer system while maintaining the standing of the long service awards.

The appropriate long service award issued will reflect the majority of each recipient’s service. Persons who already have a long service award will continue to wear the award they have. There will be no swapping of awards.

Current serving military personnel will not need to apply for their long service entitlement to be assessed under the new rules. They will be automatically assessed via the data in their SAP HCM records. Please note that given the number of eligible personnel it may take around six to nine months after the announcement to confirm and issue the medal entitlement for every current serving military Service person.

Applications from eligible ex-Service persons will be called for in the first half of 2016.

Full information on the changes will be released at the time of the formal announcement.

Also see:

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NZDF personnel named in Queen's Birthday Honours List

1 June 2015

Six New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel have been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2015 today.

The recipients are as follows:

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

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Davis HALL
Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
For services to the Defence Force

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

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.

Captain Daniel Alexander EDGINTON
Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps

Staff Sergeant Robert Victor Keith MCGEE
Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

Lieutenant Simon Andrew WASLEY
Royal New Zealand Navy

SERVICEMAN G (Name withheld for security reasons)

SERVICEMAN S (Name withheld for security reasons)

Photos of four of the recipients are on the main NZDF website.

The Citations for the Awards

To be made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM):
HALL, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Davis, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment


Lieutenant Colonel (LTCOL) Peter Hall served as the Senior Military Advisor and Commanding Officer of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan from 15 April to 30 September 2012.

Throughout this deployment he oversaw the execution of the team’s mission to assist the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by undertaking reconstruction tasks and assisting with the provision of security in Bamyan Province. He demonstrated outstanding, calm and professional leadership in the aftermath of incidents on 4 August and 19 August 2012 in which five New Zealanders were killed in action and a further eight wounded. He ensured that the team retained its operational effectiveness as a fully functioning and task-worthy military organisation despite suffering significant casualties within a very short period of time. He was also responsible for planning and executing the successful redeployment of New Zealand forces from the Forward Operating Bases at Romero and Do Abe, located in the North-East of Bamyan Province, to the main New Zealand base at Bamyan. The success of the operation was due to Lieutenant Colonel Hall’s meticulous planning and coordination of the movement of the various elements of the team with supporting coalition forces.

To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):
EDGINTON, Captain Daniel Alexander, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps


Captain (CAPT) Daniel Edginton served as a patrol commander with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan from April to October 2012.

Captain Edginton was responsible for the command of a small patrol on largely independent operations, working out of the Combat Outpost ‘Romero’ and Forward Patrol Base ‘Malone-Durrer’ in Do Abe town of Khamard District. His patrol was the first to occupy these forward bases and establish a New Zealand presence in the district. During its occupation, he tirelessly patrolled the high ground and approaches to Do Abe to deny easy access to insurgents. He developed a rapport with the key leaders in the surrounding villages, and with the Afghan National Security Forces and local security organisations. This included the Shura Heads of small towns in the region, as well as the representatives of Chinese mining interests who controlled much of the local economy. His efforts in developing these contacts were essential later in his tour when the Afghan Government decided to close down the mines in the area. The New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team was able to take a neutral stance during the crisis and violence was avoided. Captain Edginton’s performance as the first independent patrol commander in this region of Bamyan Province set the conditions for the success of subsequent operations in the area.

To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):
MCGEE, Staff Sergeant Robert Victor Keith, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment


Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Rob McGee served as a patrol commander with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan from April to October 2012, as the only patrol commander who was not an officer.

He was responsible for the command of a small patrol working within the Khamard District. On 4 August 2012, he commanded a patrol tasked with clearing insurgents from the side of a valley as part of the “Battle of Baghak”. He showed excellent leadership under fire, suppressing a number of enemy positions and successfully extracting two of his men who had been injured in the firefight. One of his men was killed fighting from the patrol vehicles on the road and another was wounded. His patrol was attacked by insurgents at their Forward Patrol Base the following night after the battle. He exhibited excellent control of his patrol and successfully repelled the attack. On 19 August, a large Improvised Explosive Device on a district road detonated under the rear vehicle of his patrol, instantly killing the three occupants. He secured the scene and ensured the remaining members of the patrol remained focused. Staff Sergeant McGee demonstrated leadership beyond the level expected of his rank and displayed outstanding comradeship in dealing with the tragic loss of four comrades and attending to the well-being of the remaining members of his patrol.

To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD):
WASLEY, Lieutenant Simon Andrew, Royal New Zealand Navy

Lieutenant (LT) Simon Wasley was the Operations Officer for HMNZS Otago while patrolling north of Cape Reinga on 8 July 2014.

His ship received a ‘mayday’ distress call advising that a sailing boat had broken her rudder in heavy seas and was in danger of sinking with three persons on-board. HMNZS Otago responded to the distress call and established that rigid inflatable boats could not be safely launched in the prevailing sea conditions. A plan was formulated to recover the sail boat’s crew from their life raft via Otago’s pilot ladder with Lieutenant Wasley, a former operational diver, volunteering as a reserve rescue swimmer. As the sail boat’s life raft was brought alongside Otago it was determined that the pilot ladder could not be used due to the excessive roll that the ship was experiencing. Lieutenant Wasley entered the water and made his way to the life raft. He guided the life raft to within five metres of Otago’s bow and despite the rough conditions, Lieutenant Wasley fitted each of the sail boat’s crew with a rescue recovery strop and ensured they were safely lifted clear of the water, one at a time. Given the conditions it was unlikely the crew would have been rescued without the professionalism, skill and courage displayed by Lieutenant Wasley.

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

Serviceman G served in Afghanistan in 2013 and 2014, during which time he made significant contributions to operations throughout the theatre. The actions of Serviceman G were of a superior standard and brought great credit to the New Zealand Defence Force.

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

Serviceman S undertook several tours of duty in Afghanistan from 2009, throughout which he made significant contributions to several operations, including New Zealand’s withdrawal from the theatre. The actions of Serviceman S were of a superior standard and brought great credit to the New Zealand Defence Force.

Related media statement:

1 January 2015 - NZ Defence Force personnel named in New Year Honours list

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Australian recognition for kiwi service in Cambodia 1992-1993

28 May 2015

The Australian Meritorious Unit Citation and insignia

Caption: The Australian Meritorious Unit Citation and insignia

NZDF Media Release

New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel who served with a combined Australian and New Zealand military unit in Cambodia in the early 1990s are to be awarded the Australian Meritorious Unit Citation.

The Force Communications Unit was a combined Australian and New Zealand military unit which served as part of the United Nations Transitional Authority (UNTAC) in Cambodia from 15 March 1992 to 7 October 1993. The unit provided communications between components of UNTAC, the Cambodian Supreme National Council and the military headquarters of the four political factions.

In 2014 the Australian Government awarded the Australian Meritorious Unit Citation to Australian Defence Force personnel who served in the Force Communications Unit. The same recognition has now been offered to the members of the New Zealand Armed Forces who served in this unit for their “sustained outstanding service” in Cambodia.

Prime Minister John Key has approved the acceptance and wear of this Australian award by the 65 eligible New Zealanders.

Presentation

A presentation is planned for Linton Military Camp in early August 2015.

All eligible persons should contact Warrant Officer Class One Dale Wetere, Regimental Sergeant Major Land Operations Training Centre, Palmerston North. Telephone: 06 352 8522, mobile 021 419 057, email dale.wetere@nzdf.mil.nz

Those who are not able to attend the presentation can have their award mailed to them.

More information

More information can be found on the Australian Meritorious Unit Citation for Cambodia Frequently Asked Questions page of the NZDF Medals website.

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New medal recognises service in counter-piracy operations

18 May 2015

The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Counter-Piracy) - obverse view

Caption: The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Counter-Piracy) - obverse view

NZDF Media Release

A new medal for New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel who have served in counter-piracy operations has been created.

The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Counter-Piracy) recognises members of the NZDF who have served for 30 days or more in counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, Western Indian Ocean, and off the eastern coasts of Somalia, Yemen and Oman, since 1 January 2009.

New Zealand relies on the sea to transport 99 percent of its imports and exports. Preventing piracy and deterring terrorism at sea directly contributes to New Zealand's success and makes the NZDF a valued partner when joining international coalitions to fight piracy.

The first large NZDF deployment was the frigate HMNZS TE MANA’s November 2013 to February 2014 service as part of Combined Task Force 151 and NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield. Since then Air Force, Navy and Army personnel have served on a range of maritime counter-piracy operations in this area of the world.

More than 300 NZDF personnel will be presented with the new medal in the next few months.

The ribbon. The ribbon of the new medal is 32mm in width, of blue, with a narrow central white stripe, and edged with narrow red and wide yellow stripes. The colours allude to the vast Indian Ocean and other operational waters (blue); the countries and their coasts are desert or sandy (sandy yellow); the dangers presented by the operations (red). The addition of the central white stripe alludes to the Equator.

The national flags of the majority of the countries bordering the operational area include red and to a lesser extent yellow, blue and light blue, white, green and black.

The Regulations. The Regulations for the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Counter-Piracy) can be viewed as text / html at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2015/0069/latest/whole.html (on the Parliamentary Counsel Office's New Zealand Legislation website).

More information

Currently serving personnel. Eligible currently serving personnel do not need to take any action. Their medals will be issued within the next four weeks from NZDF Personnel Archives and Medals to their current New Zealand based military unit or to Devonport Naval Base for Ships which are currently on deployment.

Ex-service persons. Eligible ex-Service persons should complete our electronic contact form for enquiries about medals eligibility, issuing or replacement of medals and include the best address for a day-time courier delivery of their medal.

Service in the Middle East since 7 December 2014. NZDF personnel who have only served in the Middle East since 7 December 2014 will not be issued with the NZGSM 2002 (Counter Piracy). A different NZGSM 2002 was instituted in 2016 as the more appropriate recognition. Information on the NZGSM 2002 (Greater Middle East) was announced on 19 July 2016 and was published on the NZDF Medal website’s Breaking News page.

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NZ Defence Force personnel named in New Year Honours list

1 January 2015

Five NZ Defence Force (NZDF) personnel have been named in the New Year Honours 2014.

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

Warrant Officer Marine Technician (Propulsion) David Tale HAMILL
Royal New Zealand Navy
Based at Devonport

Captain Andrew Ross McKINLAY
Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery
Based in Wellington

Major Michael NOCHETE
Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers
Based at Burnham

Flight Sergeant Murray John THOMSON
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Based at Whenuapai

SERVICEMAN B (Name withheld for security reasons)

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, leadership and service in an operational environment, or in support of operations.

The Citations for the Awards

Each awarded the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD)

HAMILL, Warrant Officer Marine Technician (Propulsion) David Tale
Royal New Zealand Navy

As the Marine Engineering Warrant Officer on board HMNZS TE MANA, Warrant Officer Hamill was responsible for the management and operation of the marine engineering department. He rendered outstanding service in this role from August 2013 to March 2014, firstly in achieving the highest readiness grading possible in the ship’s intensive pre-deployment work-ups, and subsequently during its deployment on anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden.

His commitment to engineering excellence engendered a superior level of performance in his department that has facilitated the identification of solutions to engineering problems which, due to the ship’s age, more often than not required careful consideration of equipment obsolescence, long lead times for replacement parts and remote support from shore. A critical example of this during the anti-piracy deployment was the way in which he dealt with a major fault that developed in the cooling systems for one of the main diesel propulsion units. With this engine out of commission, the ship was required to run on its gas turbine engines, seriously affecting its range and endurance and putting the entire operation at risk. After a temporary repair failed, Warrant Officer Hamill traced the cause of the fault to alignment and vibration problems with the coolant pipe-work. Replacement pipe-work was modified to eliminate recurrence of the problems, and the ship was able to continue its mission.

During the deployment, Warrant Officer Hamill also carried out a self-maintenance period in Darwin that saw significant modifications being made to some of the diesel engine systems, and succeeded in finding remedies to a number of long-term maintenance problems that had defeated his predecessors. His technical skill, outstanding leadership and perseverance were critical to HMNZS TE MANA’s ability to reach the operational area off the coast of Africa, to remain on station, and to complete all its operational tasks.

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McKINLAY, Captain Andrew Ross
Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery

In the early months of 2014, Acting Major McKinlay was serving as a Military Liaison Officer (MLO) with the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) at the Malakal State Support Base in Upper Nile State. Inside the base were approximately 28,000 Internally Displaced Persons from a variety of South Sudanese tribal groups. There was significant antipathy between some of these tribes and there was little physical separation between them within the base.

On the night of 17 February 2014 fighting broke out among the groups within the base and continued through to dawn on the 18th. It resumed later that day when significant fighting, including tank and mortar fire, broke out between Government of South Sudan forces (SPLA) and anti-Government forces in the area. The fighting inside the base reached levels not seen during the previous night with a considerable number of deaths among those taking part. The MLOs were attacked on a number of occasions while attempting to evacuate casualties to the hospital, and Major McKinlay had to draw his pistol on more than one occasion to protect fellow UN staff and UN contractors who were seeking shelter with himself and a Swedish MLO. During this period he also sustained a number of minor injuries, caused while grabbing weapons off rioters and attempting to stop a number of beatings taking place around him.

After the fighting died down, Major McKinlay resumed his normal MLO duties, which meant going outside the base to talk to Government and rebel commanders. He did this despite knowing that these men had little control over their own troops and that there was a real risk of unprovoked attacks from either side. He also continued to volunteer himself for patrols from the base to Malakal township and assisted in the recovery of bodies from inside the base, despite the high level of tension that still existed between the tribal groupings and the death threats some of them had made against the MLOs.

The task of protecting civilians within the base during the violence of 17-19 February had fallen to the MLOs due to the absence of other UN troops and police units. Though not equipped for such a task, the MLOs at Malakal, including Major McKinlay, had acted with exceptional courage and had managed to contain the situation.

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NOCHETE, Major Michael
Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers

In the early months of 2014, Major Nochete was serving as a Military Liaison Officer (MLO) with the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) at the town of Bor, situated on the White Nile to the north of the capital, Juba. During the national crisis of December 2013 – February 2014, control of Bor changed hands between Government and rebel forces five times and there was a general reluctance among UN staff to return to the area. Major Nochete was one of the few UN staffers to volunteer to return and while waiting for flights into the town to resume, he sought work within the UN Force Headquarters where his knowledge of Bor, Jonglei Province, and the key Government and rebel commanders in the area proved invaluable to the UN planning staff.

On returning to Bor, in the absence of trained UN staff, he assumed responsibility for the management of all air movements of UNMISS, UN Humanitarian Air Service and international aid agency flights in and out of the area. He oversaw the prioritisation and evacuation of hundreds of personnel, including critical casualties, UN staff, and international and internally displaced persons. The final estimate was that he personally oversaw the evacuation of over 2,000 people. He carried out this duty throughout the many changeovers of control of the town, and often with weapons pointed at him and stray rounds hitting the ground around him. In addition to the demanding movements role, Major Nochete also led the first operation to recover and bury the large number of bodies that had accumulated in and around the Bor County State Base; and through his personal example encouraged troops from other nations to assist him with this unpleasant task.

At the same time he continued to carry out his normal MLO duties, working effectively with senior military commanders from both Government and rebel forces. He also led patrols to recover much-needed medical supplies from local hospitals for use by UN humanitarian agencies and to conduct assessments of sites for use as UN storage and distribution facilities. The fact that he conducted these tasks regardless of which side controlled Bor at any given time, and while the threat of attack was always a possibility, highlights the level of courage and commitment Major Nochete displayed throughout the crisis.

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THOMSON, Flight Sergeant Murray John
Royal New Zealand Air Force

Flight Sergeant Thomson has served as an Aircraft Technician with the Naval Support Flight for the past 12 years. He is one of only a few technicians at his rank level who hold Delegated Engineering Authority, that is the authority to determine the technical airworthiness of the aircraft in his care. Since 2012 he has been the Senior Maintenance Rating on board HMNZS TE MANA with total responsibility for the operational availability of the ship’s Seasprite helicopter. Consequently, he had a significant influence on the operational capability of TE MANA during her recent deployment to the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden where she conducted anti-piracy operations as part of a NATO Task Force. In this role, he worked tirelessly to ensure that the members of his team were a fully-functioning element of the ship’s company with key roles to play as part of the damage control and emergency management teams on board. He also ensured that the aircraft was maintained at the highest level of operational serviceability and that his department was fully prepared to carry out the air support programme. As a result of his efforts the air component on board made an important contribution to the ship’s work-up and testing programme prior to deployment, and once on station, the Seasprite was able to successfully complete 95 per cent of assigned air support missions in support of the Task Force despite frequent operational programme changes.

Flight Sergeant Thomson’s service to naval aviation since joining No 6 Squadron in 2002 has been exceptional and goes beyond that which could reasonably be expected from a person of his rank. He is the epitome of the experienced, professional and proficient team leader, and without his dedication and professionalism, HMNZS TE MANA would not have been able to achieve the significant level of contribution to the Combined Task Force, and to NATO, that it did during its deployment.

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SERVICEMAN B (Name withheld for security reasons)

Serviceman B demonstrated distinguished service across several operations in Afghanistan in 2011, contributing to the protection of comrades and civilian life, putting their wellbeing ahead of his own under hazardous circumstances. Serviceman B’s exceptional devotion to duty was in keeping with the finest traditions of New Zealand’s military record.

Related media statements:

2 June 2014 - Four NZDF Personnel receive Queen's Birthday Honours

1 January 2014 - Major Honour for NZ Defence Chief

1 January 2014 - Defence personnel named in New Year Honours list

3 June 2013 - Six NZDF personnel named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list

7 January 2013 - NZDF personnel named in New Year Honours list

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

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

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

5 January 2011 - New Year Honours for NZDF personnel

 This page was last reviewed 9 January, 2018 and is current.