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2016 Archived MEDALS NEWS

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

Service as Soldier and Musician Recognised in New Year Honours

31 December 2016

 

Major Graham Hickman, Army Director of Music

Caption: Major Graham Hickman, Army Director of Music.

New Zealand Defence Force Media Release

For 34 years Army Director of Music Major Graham Hickman has served New Zealand and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) as both a soldier and musician, and his dedication and achievements have now been recognised by the award of the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) in the New Year Honours.

Under Major Hickman’s command and leadership the New Zealand Army Band has been recognised by the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo as one of the top tattoo acts in the world; and by the Basel International Tattoo as the best military marching band in the world.

Major Hickman said that the unexpected honour reflected the service and commitment of many people.

“I actually feel I’m accepting this honour on behalf of the entire Band, past and present. The current Band are an exceptional group of musicians, who consistently perform at an elite level, and I’m extremely privileged to lead them,” he said.

“However, we also owe a debt of gratitude to the musicians and leaders that came before us. Today’s Band stands on the shoulders of giants: those that developed and grew the Band over the past 50 years. We’ve also benefited from strong support from our military hierarchy. Both the Army and the NZDF encourage the unit to seek excellence, and have provided the environment for the Band to develop all these diverse musical ensembles, which in turn have earned national and international recognition.”

Major Hickman began his music career as a 14-year-old Territorial Force member of the Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea Band, and after finishing high school joined the New Zealand Army Band. Over the next 31 years he rose through the ranks, serving at various times as an instructor, Bandmaster, Officer Commanding the School of Music and now as Director of Music. In recent years he has led the Band on major international engagements including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and 90th Birthday Celebrations, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Basel International Tattoo in Switzerland, the World Band Festival in Lucerne, the King of Tonga’s Coronation and the German War Graves Commission Tattoo in Bremen.

His latest challenge has been a campaign to have the Band recognised as a legitimate arts institution. One element of this took the form of a national tour in collaboration with the Royal New Zealand Ballet performing “Salute”, a Ministry of Culture and Heritage World War One 100th Commemoration Project. The ballet, featuring music by New Zealand composers Gareth Farr and Dwayne Bloomfield, brought into focus the service and sacrifice of our military forbears. This was the first time in the world a brass band had provided music for a national ballet company, proving to audiences and critics that brass bands are as “musical” as their orchestral peers.

The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, said that he was delighted with Major Hickman’s honour.

“It is very well-deserved. The Army Band is world-class, and is a cornerstone of many of our formal occasions. Its contributions are a source of great pleasure to the Defence Force, and enjoyed by thousands of other New Zealanders every year. We’re very proud of it. Major Hickman has been the key to many of its recent successes and it’s great to see that recognised at this level,” he said.

Apart from his military career, Major Hickman has played a significant role in his local community as a tutor, administrator and musical director, including leading Woolston Brass to four back-to-back New Zealand championship titles from 2007, and to the inaugural Champion Band of Australasia title in 2008. He was named the Champion Conductor of New Zealand for four years from 2009 to 2012. He has also fostered the development of young musicians throughout the country as the musical director of several youth brass bands, including the National Youth Brass Band.

The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD)
Major Graham Ross HICKMAN, RNZIR

Major Hickman has had a long and distinguished career as a musician and as a soldier, and his contribution to New Zealand and the Defence Force over the past 33 years reflects an extraordinary level of dedication and achievement. Under his command and leadership the New Zealand Army Band has been recognised by the Edinburgh Military Tattoo as one of the top three tattoo acts in the world; and by the Basel International Tattoo as the best military marching band in the world.

Major Hickman began his music career as a 14 year-old Territorial Force member of the Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea Band and on graduation from High School joined the New Zealand Army Band. Over the next 25 years he rose through the ranks serving at various times as an instructor, Bandmaster, Director of Music and Officer Commanding the School of Music. In recent years he has led the Band on major international engagements to The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, The Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the World Band Festival in Lucerne, the King of Tonga’s Coronation and the German War Graves Commission Tattoo in Bremen. His latest challenge, as well as enhancing the Band’s national entertainment and international marching reputations, has been a campaign to have the Band recognised as a legitimate arts institution. This took the form of a national tour in collaboration with the Royal New Zealand Ballet performing “Salute”, a Ministry of Culture and Heritage World War One 100th Commemoration Project. The ballet, featuring music by Gareth Farr and Dwayne Bloomfield brought into focus the service and sacrifice of our military forbears. This was the first time in the world a brass band had provided music for a ballet, proving to audiences and critics that brass bands are as ‘musical’ as their orchestral peers.

Within the local community, he has undertaken a parallel and largely unremunerated career as a tutor, administrator and musical director. He was Musical Director of the Palmerston North Brass from 1993 to 1997, Canterbury Youth Band from 1995 to 1997, Addington Brass from 1997 to 2000 and Woolston Brass from 2006 to 2014. He led Woolston Brass to four back-to-back New Zealand Championship titles from 2007, to the Inaugural Band of Australasia title in 2008, and was the Champion Conductor of New Zealand for four years from 2009 to 2012. He has also made a major voluntary contribution to youth music on the national stage over a similar period of time, influencing and fostering the development of a generation of young musicians throughout the country. In 2008 and 2009 he was Musical Director of the National Secondary Schools Brass Band and from 2010 to 2012 held the same position with the National Youth Brass Band. Major Hickman continues to serve in the New Zealand Defence Force and maintains his involvement in a wide range of music and education-related organisations and trusts.

Related media statements:

5 June 2017 - NZDF personnel named in Queen's Birthday Honours List 2017

6 June 2016 - NZDF personnel named in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2016

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Top NZDF Honour for Whangarei Man's Work in Middle East

22 July 2016

New Zealand Defence Force Media Release

The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Tim Keating, has awarded a Chief of Defence Force’s Commendation to Whangarei-born Air Force Sergeant (SGT) Nicholas Armstrong-Barrington.

The award was presented to SGT Armstrong-Barrington at a ceremony at Whenuapai Air Force Base.

The Commendation was awarded for SGT Armstrong-Barrington’s work supporting anti-piracy operations around the Horn of Africa. He was responsible for setting up and supporting the Communications and Information Systems (CIS) infrastructure for last year’s deployment of the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF’s) Airborne Surveillance and Reconnaissance Force (ASRF) to the Middle East. The citation noted that “his skill and attention to detail ensured that the system he developed exceeded requirements and expectations, and represented the most sophisticated CIS architecture the New Zealand Defence Force has ever deployed”.

SGT Armstrong-Barrington says he has thoroughly enjoyed his Air Force career of more than 13 years, during which he has served at Woodbourne Air Force Base near Blenheim, Wellington and Auckland. The deployment to the Middle East was one of the high points of his career, as he was heavily involved in the development and fine-tuning of the CIS backbone for the Mobile Tactical Operations Centre, used for the first time on this operation. As one of the first to put “boots on the ground” for the deployment, he said that it was “hugely satisfying to see the project through to the point where it was up and running”.

The ASRF comprises the RNZAF’s P-3K2 Orions of No 5 Squadron and support elements including CIS technicians like SGT Armstrong-Barrington from No 230 (Mission Support) Squadron.

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Recognition for Iraq and Middle East service

19 July 2016

The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Iraq 2015)The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Greater Middle East)

Caption: Left: The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Iraq 2015); Right: The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Greater Middle East).

Minister of Defence Media Release

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says two New Zealand General Service Medals have been instituted to recognise service in Iraq and the greater Middle East since 2014.

The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Iraq 2015) recognises service in building the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces. The medal will be awarded to NZDF personnel who deploy on this training mission.

Around 100 NZDF personnel and some 300 Australian Defence Force troops have formed a joint training mission at Camp Taji, Iraq.

“This training is focused on individual skills, weapons handling, first aid, live-fire and close quarters marksmanship, obstacle breaching techniques, counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Device) tactics, and techniques for squad through to company-level operations, map reading, and team leadership,” Mr Brownlee says.

“These New Zealand men and women have delivered great results with their training in what has proved to be a tough environment.

“It is a testament to their commitment that they have delivered very tangible improvements in skills and attitudes in the Iraqi personnel they have trained.

“All New Zealanders can be proud of their efforts.”

The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Greater Middle East) recognises service of 30 days or more on general regional security operations in the greater Middle East since 7 December 2014.

This medal will be awarded to NZDF personnel who deploy on general regional security operations in the Middle East. It can also be awarded to those involved in supporting the training mission in Iraq from other locations in the Middle East.

Crews of the P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft and HMNZS Te Kaha, serving as part of the Combined Task Force 150, which successfully identified and intercepted drug smugglers trafficking almost 260 kg of heroin in 2015, are eligible to be awarded the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Greater Middle East).

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, said: “These NZDF personnel are representing New Zealand well in a wide range of roles across the Middle East.

“Often working as a small part of a Coalition Headquarters or formation, they are regarded highly by our allies and the general comments I hear are that they are punching well above their weight.”

Mr Brownlee says 640 personnel will be awarded these medals in the coming months. Another 100 personnel currently deployed to Camp Taji, and the 40 personnel supporting operations from other locations in the Middle East, will receive their medals when they return to New Zealand later this year.

More information

The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 was introduced to recognise service in operational theatres. This medal has been used to recognise service in Afghanistan (since 2001), on counter-terrorism missions elsewhere in the Middle East and in the Indian Ocean (2001-2014), Counter Piracy (since 2009), Iraq (2003-2014), Korea (since 2001), Solomon Islands (since 2000) and Timor Leste (2006-2012). Unique ribbon designs differentiate between operations.

The ribbons. The ribbons for both new medals have been designed by Mr Phillip O’Shea, the New Zealand Herald of Arms.

New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Iraq 2015) ribbon:
The ribbon colours are (from left to right) red, white, green, yellow, green, white, red. These colours symbolise sand (yellow), the flora (green) with white symbolising peace and truth, and the traditional military colour of red.

Red, white and green also reflect the colours on national flags of the region.

The New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Greater Middle East) ribbon:
The ribbon colours are (from left to right) are yellow, green, white, blue, white, green, yellow. These colours symbolise the arid nature of the regions (yellow), the flora (green) with white symbolising peace and truth, and blue for the oceans and seas of the region.

Green and white also reflect the colours in many of the national flags of the region.

The Regulations. The Regulations for the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Iraq 2015) can be viewed as text / html at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2016/0165/latest/DLM6898701.html?src=qs (on the Parliamentary Counsel Office's New Zealand Legislation website).

The Regulations for the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Greater Middle East) can be viewed as text / html at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2016/0166/latest/DLM6898801.html?src=qs (on the Parliamentary Counsel Office's New Zealand Legislation website).

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.

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Update on the Long Service Awards Review

18 July 2016

Changes to the eligibility rules for the existing ten New Zealand military long service awards are expected to be announced by early 2017, 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’.

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 will be called for in 2017.

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 The Queen's Birthday Honours List 2016

6 June 2016

Five current and former New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel have been named in the Queen’s Birthday 2016 Honours List today.

The recipients are as follows:

Appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM):

Air Vice-Marshal Michael Yardley DSD RNZAF (Rtd)

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force, lately as Chief of Air Force.

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

Dr Ralph Marrett

For services to the Defence Technology Agency.

The New Zealand Order of Merit recognises those who, in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and the nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits.

Three recipients are to receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD). Two of these are for service in Iraq and their names cannot be made public. The recipients are:

Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Clinton Childs RNZIR. For services with the headquarters of the Multi-National Force and Observers and as commander of the New Zealand Contingent in the Sinai.

“Serviceman J” and “Serviceman C”, both of whom demonstrated distinguished service while on deployment in Iraq in 2015, making significant contributions towards the success of multi-national operations.

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.

The Citations for the Awards


Appointed as an Officer of The New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM):

Air Vice-Marshal Michael Edward (Mike) YARDLEY DSD RNZAF (Rtd)

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Air Vice-Marshal Mike Yardley completed his term as Chief of Air Force in early 2016, having been appointed to the role in May 2014.

As Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Yardley has led the successful introduction into service of enhanced military air capabilities for the New Zealand Defence Force, including the Seasprite, A109 and NH90 helicopters and upgrades to the Orion and Hercules fleets. He also led the significant improvement in the safety of Defence Force air operations, and was recently instrumental in ensuring the early deployment of Orion aircraft to the Middle East in support of New Zealand’s interests in the region. He has held a number of roles and risen through the ranks of the Royal New Zealand Air Force since his enlistment in 1981 as a General Duties Navigator. In the 2000s he was the Project Manager for the P-3 Orion Systems Upgrade Project, for which he was recognised with the award of the Distinguished Service Decoration in 2007. Prior to his appointment as Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Yardley held the role of Chief of Staff, Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force, and assumed the role of Air Component Commander in 2013.

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

Dr Ralph Marrett

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Dr Ralph Marrett has held a range of appointments at all levels within the Defence Technology Agency (DTA), beginning in 1968 as a scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory.

Dr Marrett has played a key role in representing New Zealand in multi-lateral defence science relationships and served for several years as the New Zealand Principal in the Technical Cooperation programme (TTCP), which involves more than 1200 scientists across five nations. As Executive Chair of the TTCP Maritime Division he established award-winning research and development in the area of net-centric warfare studies and experimentation. He has received awards for leadership and his work on anti-submarine warfare, as well as a distinguished service award for his outstanding lifetime contribution to international defence science. During the period 1985 to 2008 when aspects of New Zealand’s defence relationship with the United States were struggling he played a significant role in ensuring defence science managed to continue relatively unimpaired. In particular, when the United States was unwilling to release information that was vital to protection of the Exclusive Economic Zone, he played a central role in gaining access to that information. Dr Marrett’s foresight ensured DTA and NZDF were well placed to take advantage of positive changes in diplomatic and military relationships with the United States.

To receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD)

Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Clinton Childs

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Childs has been commander of the New Zealand contingent at the headquarters of the Multi-National Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai Peninsula.

The environment Lieutenant Colonel Childs has had to manage as the Senior National Officer and Head of Plans in the Operations Branch has been drastically different from what was expected pre-deployment, particularly the changing threat levels, and he has been adaptive in his leadership to enhance the operational skills of New Zealand personnel in theatre to keep pace with and mitigate the heightened security situation. He implemented training and force protection measures for the New Zealand contingent, which have been extended throughout the MFO, ensuring that the MFO as a whole was better able to respond appropriately to the changing situation in the Sinai. He has been a key planner in formulating options for the future shape of the MFO in response to the new operating environment. All of this has been undertaken while maintaining relationships with, and the support of eleven other national contingents and a large civilian staff. Senior staff at MFO have expressed that Lieutenant Colonel Childs has made an invaluable contribution during a period of intense activity and dramatic change as one of the highest performing staff officers within the MFO headquarters.

_______________________________________________________

Serviceman J

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Public citation
Serviceman J demonstrated distinguished service while on deployment in Iraq in 2015, making significant contributions towards the success of multi-national operations. Serviceman J's distinguished service was in keeping with the finest traditions of New Zealand's military record.

_______________________________________________________

Serviceman C

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Public citation
Serviceman C demonstrated distinguished service while on deployment in Iraq in 2015, making significant contributions towards the success of multi-national operations. Serviceman C's distinguished service was in keeping with the finest traditions of New Zealand's military record.

Related media statement:

1 January 2016 - NZ Defence Force personnel named in New Year Honours list

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New Zealand entertainers now eligible for Vietnam medals

1 June 2016

New Zealand Operational Service Medal (left) and New Zealand General Service Medal with clasp “Vietnam” (right)

Caption: The New Zealand Operational Service Medal (left) and the New Zealand General Service Medal with clasp “Vietnam” (right).

NZDF Media Release

New Zealand entertainers who entertained Allied troops during the Vietnam War may now be eligible for medallic recognition through the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

Eligible entertainers will be awarded the New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 with clasp “Vietnam” and the New Zealand Operational Service Medal.

Performers must have been New Zealand citizens at the time of service and have performed in Vietnam for more than 30 days between 1965 and 1972. New Zealand entertainers performed in Vietnam for six to 12 months at a time, giving up to 20 performances a week. Travel between performance venues involved obvious risks.

Lieutenant General (LTGEN) Tim Keating, the Chief of Defence Force, says non-military New Zealanders, such as medical support staff and humanitarian workers, played crucial roles during the conflict, often in dangerous situations.

“It’s timely that, in the 50th anniversary year of the Vietnam War, these New Zealand entertainers are recognised for their service in supporting Allied troops in Vietnam,” LTGEN Keating said.

Members of the Māori Quin Tikis, the Māori Te Kiwis, the Māori Ambassadors, the Māori Volcanics, the Māori HyMarques, and the Māori Travellieres showbands who entertained troops in Vietnam are encouraged to contact the NZDF to confirm their eligibility for medallic recognition. In cases where an eligible member is deceased, a family representative is encouraged to contact the NZDF to accept the medals on the member’s behalf.

“It is especially poignant for those families of the entertainers who have passed. We hope that the families will view these medals as we in the NZDF do, they are taonga (treasures) inherent with the mana of the person they are awarded to.

“Ka maumahara tonu tātou kia rātou, we will remember them”, LTGEN Keating said.

Entertainers and their family members who have had their eligibility for medallic recognition confirmed will be able to attend the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War commemorations on 18 August 2016 in Wellington wearing these medals.

For personal and family enquiries regarding eligibility of New Zealand entertainers who entertained our troops during the Vietnam War, please contact NZDF Personnel Archives and Medals by email to nzdf.pam@nzdf.mil.nz with “Showbands in Vietnam” in the subject header by 5pm 24 June 2016.

For all other enquiries regarding medals and eligibility, visit medals.nzdf.mil.nz.

Eligibility

Each eligible entertainer will receive two medals in recognition of their support to New Zealand and Allied military personnel in Vietnam:
the New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 with clasp “Vietnam”, and
the New Zealand Operational Service Medal.

To be eligible, the entertainer must have:
• been a New Zealand citizen at the time of service in Vietnam; and
• have performed in Vietnam for 30 days or more between 1965 and 1972.

Eligible entertainers are not entitled to pensions or other assistance from Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand.

Eligible entertainers, or their family representative, who do not respond by 24 June 2016 will still be able to request their medallic recognition at their leisure.

Background

The request for medallic recognition was initiated by an enquiry from one of the entertainers, Mr Herewini Selwyn Rawiri, who has since died.

During World War 2, entertainers were enlisted in the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force and qualified for medallic recognition.

In 2012, New Zealand comedian Mike King was awarded the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Afghanistan) Primary Operational Area and the New Zealand Operational Service Medal for providing entertainment to New Zealand troops in Afghanistan for 30 days.

New Zealand citizens who worked as war correspondents, New Zealand Embassy staff, members of the New Zealand (Civilian) Surgical Team, New Zealand Red Cross personnel, and a small number of other humanitarian workers have already been awarded New Zealand medallic recognition for their service as civilians in Vietnam.

History

The United States Service Organisation contracted a range of entertainers and show bands to entertain United States and Allied troops serving in Vietnam.

Over 40 New Zealand citizens entertained our troops in Vietnam between 1965 and 1972. Fortunately, there were no fatalities or casualties.

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NZ Defence Force personnel named in New Year Honours list

1 January 2016

Four NZ Defence Force personnel have been named in the New Year Honours 2016.

Appointed as a Member of The New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM):

Captain Mark Robert WORSFOLD, RNZN
For services as the Captain Fleet Personnel and Training 2011- 2015.

Note: The New Zealand Order of Merit recognises those who, in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and the nation, or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits.

Three personnel will receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD). They are:

Commander (then Acting Captain) Louisa Ann GRITT, Royal New Zealand Navy
For services as Chief of Staff of Combined Task Force 151 in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

Chief Petty Officer Combat Warfare Specialist Anthony NICKEL, Royal New Zealand Navy
For services as the Communications Staff Officer for Combined Task Force 151.

Wing Commander Andrew John SCOTT, Royal New Zealand Air Force
For his contribution to the planning and execution of significant events involving the NZDF, other Government departments and international partners.

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.

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

The Citations for the Awards


Appointed as a Member of The New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM):

Captain Mark Robert WORSFOLD, Royal New Zealand Navy

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Captain Mark Worsfold served as the Captain Fleet Personnel and Training from June 2011 until January 2015, during which time he was responsible for the management and delivery of all the Navy’s training and personnel management. At the time of his appointment the annual attrition rate was 23%, morale was low and the Service did not have sufficient trained manpower to meet all its commitments. Captain Worsfold inherited an organisation under extreme pressure. The systems in place at that time to address the issues of manning the Navy’s ships were not working and there were major difficulties in finding competent, trained personnel to get ships to sea. Over the next three years as the head of Navy personnel and training, he re-wrote the strategic model that drove Navy workforce planning, bringing it into line with the Chief of Defence Force’s vision for the New Zealand Defence Force out to 2035. At the same time he addressed the short-term training issues, and transformed the way in which training was organised and delivered, all within tight financial constraints.

As part of his strategy for getting ships to sea, Captain Worsfold drove the establishment of the Five Eyes Personnel Working Group. Working closely with our allies, he identified opportunities that addressed some of the personnel gaps in the New Zealand Navy while providing our personnel with the opportunity to assist Five Eyes nations in mutually beneficial exchanges. At the conclusion of his appointment the Navy’s annual attrition rate had fallen below 8%, morale had improved significantly and the Service is far better placed to meet the operational demands now being placed on it.

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

Commander (then Acting Captain) Louisa Ann GRITT, Royal New Zealand Navy

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

In late 2014, Louisa Gritt, then a junior Commander in the Royal New Zealand Navy, was appointed Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of Combined Task Force 151, a New Zealand-led multi-national naval group tasked with conducting counter-piracy operations within the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Promoted to Acting Captain for this role, she was responsible for the effective leadership and day-to-day operations of the Headquarters and with exercising temporary command of the Task Force during the frequent absences of the appointed commander. In a highly complex multi-national operational environment she demonstrated superior initiative and planning skills that fully supported the command team and enabled the Task Force to successfully complete its mission. For an officer of her seniority and relative inexperience to step up and produce such results is an outstanding achievement.

This was the first occasion New Zealand had deployed an entire operational headquarters to conduct a multi-national maritime operation, and the successful outcomes achieved were due in large part to Captain Gritt’s diligence, leadership and professionalism. Her performance was well above that required by her substantive rank, seniority and specialisation, and greatly enhanced the reputation of the Royal New Zealand Navy, the New Zealand Defence Force, as well as New Zealand in the eyes of our international partners.

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

Chief Petty Officer Combat Warfare Specialist Anthony NICKEL, Royal New Zealand Navy

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

In late 2014, Chief Petty Officer Nickel was posted as the Communications Staff Officer on the Headquarters of Combined Task Force 151, a New Zealand-led multi-national naval group tasked with conducting counter-piracy operations within the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. In this role he was responsible for the effective management of the Task Force’s command and control systems used to coordinate operations and disrupt piracy and other seagoing criminal activity within the Area of Operations. His superior abilities and professionalism were immediately recognised by his superiors and he was frequently sought out to provide specialist advice across the Task Force and the US Fifth Fleet. In particular, he identified significant opportunities to improve the way in which the command and control systems were being used, resolved long-standing communications problems and made significant improvements to the operational readiness of the Task Force.

According to his superiors, his was an exceptional performance that greatly enhanced Task Force and Fifth Fleet operations and was above and beyond that expected of a person of his rank and experience. His commitment to excellence was an example of New Zealand “punching above its weight” and did much to enhance the reputation of New Zealand and our Defence Force.

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

Wing Commander Andrew John SCOTT, Royal New Zealand Air Force

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Wing Commander Scott served as a senior staff officer at Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand from December 2012 until April 2015. During this time he was at the forefront of the planning and execution of a wide range of New Zealand responses to major overseas and domestic crises and events. Internationally, he took the lead in the New Zealand Defence Force’s involvement in the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, the assistance to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, and in the responses to the recent cyclones that struck the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Domestically, he played a key role in the translation of Government policy into the actions needed to support a range of significant activities such as the Rugby and Cricket World Cups, and the 2014 Royal Visit. In addition, he has been a key person in maintaining the Defence Force’s level of cooperation with Search and Rescue, as well as border and resource protection support for NZ Customs, the Ministry of Primary Industries and Department of Conservation. Of particular significance has been his work in developing closer working relationships with other Government agencies and international organisations with an interest in conservation and security challenges in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. In all these activities he has often been called upon to be the public face of the Defence Force and to represent it at a number of government and international forums.

Wing Commander Scott has maintained an exceptional level of performance over a prolonged period that has been characterised by a diverse and unrelenting tempo of activity. His professionalism, leadership and successful engagement with other Government agencies leave a legacy that will continue to reap dividends in the years to come.

Related media statement:

1 June 2015 - NZDF personnel named in Queen's Birthday Honours List

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