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BREAKING MEDALS NEWS

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

 

2014 News Items

Looking at medals' meaning

10 September 2014

By SELINA POWELL - Reprinted with permission from the Upper Hutt Leader, 10 September 2014, p.4

A medals expert has encouraged Upper Hutt kids to ask questions about the stories behind war medals to avoid knowledge being lost between generations.

New Zealand Defence Force Medals Policy Adviser Jack Hayes shared his knowledge with Maidstone Intermediate pupils at the school library last week.

About 550 pupils had the chance to pick up history and facts about military medals. They were also able to handle medal sets that Hayes brought along to the school.

When asked about the value of medals, Hayes said most medals did not cost very much to make but they became a valued taonga for each family.

‘‘The emotional value is far higher than any dollar value you could give them.’’ He said when a grandchild wore their grandparent’s medals they were ‘‘bringing that old soldier back on parade’’.

One of the aims of Hayes’ visit was to get children to talk to family members about how they came to receive medals.

‘‘We want the understanding of how the medals were earned to be passed on to the next generation,’’ Hayes said.

‘‘Lots of these youngsters have seen medals hanging on the wall or sitting in a box but they haven’t really associated them with the person.’’ He urged pupils to have the courage to approach veterans on Anzac Day.

He said sometimes veterans would talk a lot and sometimes there would be tears, but they were generally happy to share their stories.

‘‘You’ll learn more about what those medals mean to that person than if you just stand back at a distance.’’ Hayes talked about medals that recognise service and courage.
But he did not want anyone going away thinking that war was glamorous.

‘‘In fact most wars are long periods of very boring, repetitious work and very brief periods of madness.’’ In response to a question about whether he had used any ‘‘cool weapons’’, Hayes recalled the words of a senior army officer to him and fellow recruits before they went overseas to serve in the Vietnam War.

‘‘He said to us the most ardent pacifists are actually those who have seen the horrors of war. Are weapons cool? No.

‘‘In real life, weapons do nasty things to people.’’ Hayes’ visit was part of a series of activities at Maidstone Intermediate recognising the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.

Other activities have included building a mock trench in the library, making remembrance poppies, and a ‘‘letters home’’ descriptive writing competition planned for later in the term.

Maidstone Intermediate library manager Denice Asprey said activities aimed to show pupils that war was a collection of individuals, each with their own stories.

‘‘We’ve tried to give the war a personal angle.’’

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the inaugural awards of the Defence Meritorious Service Medal

14 July 2014

Announcement by Lieutenant General Tim Keating, MNZM, Chief of Defence Force

New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal obverse - front

In October 2013 the Defence Meritorious Service Medal was instituted to provide the Chief of Defence Force with the means of giving medallic recognition to employees of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) who perform meritorious service in the changing environment that our members are expected to work in out to 2035 and beyond. It is the first time medallic recognition unique to the NZDF has been available to every employee of the NZDF, regardless of rank, grade, Service affiliations or length of service.

Today it is my great pleasure to announce the names of the nine recipients who make up the inaugural Honours List for the new medal, representing all three Services and our civilian staff. The awards recognise their outstanding service over a wide range of Defence activities and recognise the extremely high standards of performance that each recipient has achieved.

My heartiest congratulations go to:

Captain Alexandrina Alexandrova BOJILOVA, RNZAEC

Squadron Leader Adam Carl DEATH, RNZAF

Mrs Bernadine Tania GRANT

Leading Seaman Combat Specialist Charles GREEN, RNZN

Warrant Officer Musician Shaun David JARRETT, RNZN

Warrant Officer Diver Simon Tristen MARSTON, RNZN

Wing Commander Shaun Paul SEXTON, NZBM, RNZAF

Warrant Officer Warren John TINDALL, RNZAF

Wing Commander Leanne Julie WOON, RNZAF (Rtd)

---

Lieutenant General Tim Keating, MNZM
Chief of Defence Force

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new medal mounting administrative process for all serving NZDF personnel - with effect 1 July 2014

30 June 2014

With effect 1 July 2014 all medal mounting for serving NZDF personnel is to be processed through the Defence Shared Services Group (DSSG) Camp and Base Service Centres.

For more information see the NZDF Signal released on 30 June 2014: pdf format 66kb and MS Word format 48kb.

For other information on medal mounting and the wear of medals see the Wearing Medals page of the NZDF Medals website.

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Bravery Award for quake rescue efforts

23 June 2014

Lieutenant Commander (LTCDR) Kevin Carr, Royal New Zealand Navy has been awarded a New Zealand Bravery Medal (NZBM) for his bravery during the rescue efforts at the CTV Building, Christchurch, after the magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit on 22 February 2011.

The official citation for his award states:

When the 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch on 22 February 2011, Lieutenant Commander Kevin Carr was working at the HMNZS Pegasus Naval Reserve Personnel Division. After the majority of staff had left Pegasus to join their families, Lieutenant Commander Carr assumed command of the small team remaining and instructed them to search the immediate area and offer assistance. When Carr heard of the extensive damage in the central city he led a team of five into the city to support relief efforts. En route to the central city the team assisted trapped survivors in various buildings where they were able.

At about 3.30pm Carr and his team arrived at the Canterbury Television building, which had collapsed in a “pancake” effect, and began a 12-hour rescue operation. Carr’s team faced significant danger from the fire burning within the building and beneath their feet, as well as persistent aftershocks. Carr crawled several times into tight, dark and smoke-filled gaps in the building to search for survivors. On one occasion part of the roof he was standing on collapsed and he fell part way into the hole that was created. Carr suffered a leg wound at this point but managed to free himself, and he continued to provide leadership for his team in a determined effort to rescue as many people as possible. Carr’s team managed to lift a section of the roof to see if any survivors were present in the fire-affected area of the building. The heat and the flames finally forced the team to withdraw.

For information on the other 26 recipients of New Zealand Bravery Awards for bravery related to the Christchurch Earthquake of 22 February 2011 see the Special Honours List 23 June 2014 on the Honours Unit website.

Also see the 23 June 2014 New Zealand Police media statement: Christchurch bravery recognised.

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State of the art Archives facility opened at Trentham Military Camp

19 June 2014

Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General (LTGEN) Tim Keating opened the newly refurbished New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Archives and Medals Office building at Trentham Military Camp yesterday.

In order to comply with the Public Records Act 2005 requirements for storage, preservation and maintenance of public documents and records, the building is now temperature and humidity controlled, with electronic mobile shelving equipment and areas for the recovery of documents in the event of a disaster.

LTGEN Keating said that the state of the art facility reflected the significance of the service records of so many people.

“NZDF Personnel Archives is the keeper of this important information. It’s an irreplaceable part of our history and culture that that should be preserved for future generations of NZDF personnel and the public of New Zealand.”

NZDF Archives holds the files of all those who joined and served in New Zealand’s military forces from the 1 January 1921 to the present day, as well as the last few files of First World War veterans who continued to serve after 1 January 1921 or who re-enlisted to serve during the Second World War.

More than 180,000 records covering the South African and First World War and the majority of those from World War 1 who re-enlisted in World War II have already been transferred to Archives New Zealand. NZDF Archives is working closely with Archives New Zealand to locate and transfer the last of these files so that they can be digitised and available for viewing on the Archives New Zealand website in time for the WW100 commemorations.

You can request a copy of your own service records or of the records of deceased persons by visiting the Personnel Records section of the NZDF website: http://nzdf.mil.nz/personnel-records/nzdf-archives/accessing-military-service-records.htm

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Police Officer reunites family with piece of history - The New Zealand Memorial Plaque

12 June 2014

Today the memory of World War One soldier Private Andrew McColl was celebrated after a long lost plaque commemorating his service was returned to his family.

Officer in charge of the Woodville Police Station Senior Constable Karl Williams was giving the station a thorough spring clean when he came across the New Zealand Memorial Plaque at the back of a cupboard. Keen on finding out more about the plaque he made some inquires with NZDF Archives.

After confirming some details he discovered the plaque was for a Private Andrew McColl, born in Masterton in 1887 and who died on active service overseas in December 1918. The plaque was sent to the family in 1921 but returned to the Defence Force without explanation. In 1923 it was sent to the town clerk of the Borough Council in Masterton where it was displayed on Anzac Day along with his medals and a scroll.

The scroll and plaque were returned to the NZ Army before being reissued to a family member in 1933. After that point the plaque's whereabouts are unknown.

Nearly 100 years on no one knows how it ended up at the Woodville Police Station but Senior Constable Karl Williams was intent on reuniting the plaque with Private McColl's family.

Senior Constable Karl Williams, officer in charge of the Woodville Police Station says: "It was a huge privilege for me to be able to present the plaque to Mr McColl's descendants and reunite them with an important piece of their family history."
Private McColl died of a cerebral haemorrhage on 18 December 1918 in Belgium and is buried in the Mons Communal Cemetery.

"Due to my own family history from World War One and previous military service I recognised the plaque's importance and I was motivated to see it returned to the family," says Senior Constable Williams.

For more information on the New Zealand Memorial Plaque see the New Zealand Memorial Plaque page of the NZDF Medals website.

Images of the presentation can be seen on the New Zealand Police website: http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/officer-reunites-family-piece-history

Note: This news item was reproduced from the New Zealand Police website.

Also see The Dominion Post's news article of 13 June 2014: Soldier's plaque finally finds its way back to grateful family

Service Record

Private Andrew McColl's service:

Joined 2nd Battalion Canterbury Regiment about halfway through New Zealand Division's involvement in the Battle of the Somme, September 26, 1916.

Admitted to hospital with shell shock at the end of that battle. Rejoined his unit in November 1916. In June 1917, would have taken part in the Battle of Messines.

Would have been a reserve during the Battle of Broodseinde on October 4, 1917, and was probably involved in New Zealand's "blackest day" at the Battle of Passchendaele, October 12, 1917.

Posted to No 2 New Zealand Area Employment Company in December 1917, undertaking salvage work on battlefields. Died from a cerebral haemorrhage on December 18, 1918, aged 31.

Medals awarded: British War Medal, Victory Medal.

Source: NZDF Archives

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Four NZDF Personnel Receive Queen's Birthday Honours

2 June 2014

All three Services are represented in the four awards made to New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)


Air Vice-Marshal Peter James Stockwell AFC (Royal New Zealand Air Force)

Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Stockwell has been honoured for the “exceptional qualities of leadership, initiative, dedication, managerial skill and outstanding devotion to duty” he demonstrated throughout a long career in the Air Force. He retired as Chief of Air Force (CAF) in April this year, during which he played a key role in the Defence Reform Programme and oversaw the introduction into service of four new aircraft types.

AVM Stockwell enlisted into the Royal New Zealand Air Force in January 1973. He served with No 41 Squadron (Bristol Freighters) in Singapore and No 40 Squadron in Auckland in the 1970s. In 1993 he was posted to No 40 Squadron as Commanding Officer. In 1996, he was posted to Canada as the New Zealand Defence Air Advisor. In 2003 he deployed as an acting Air Commodore to Tampa, Florida as the NZDF Senior National Representative at the United States Central Command. In 2004 he was appointed Deputy Chief of Air Force, a position he held for three years. In 2008 he was appointed Assistant Chief Strategic Commitments and Intelligence at Headquarters NZDF. He was promoted to Air Vice-Marshal and appointed Commander Joint Forces New Zealand in 2009, a position he held for two years before becoming Chief of Air Force in 2011.

New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD)

Warrant Officer Richard Clive Henstock (Royal New Zealand Navy)

As the Weapons Engineering Warrant Officer on HMNZS Te Kaha Warrant Officer (WO) Henstock has made a major contribution to the operational effectiveness of his ship, to other Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) fleet units, and to ships of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). During Exercise RIMPAC 2012 he provided the RAN with a number of solutions to gunnery issues that had already been implemented in the RNZN. He was also able to advise on the new sensor suite of the frigate HMAS Perth to improve the operational capability of the vessel. He assisted the communications team of HMNZS Te Kaha with a series of exercise communications challenges, helping Te Kaha win one of the major exercise competitions of RIMPAC 2012. In 2013 HMNZS Te Mana experienced serious problems with its Command and Control System software while operating off the coast of Australia. WO Henstock was able to advise the onboard maintenance staff of some temporary solutions before flying to Australia with a copy of the software. He boarded HMNZS Te Mana at sea and assisted the maintenance crew restore the ship’s operational capability. Last year he also instructed the RAN's Principal Warfare Officers Conversion Course.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard John Weston MNZM (New Zealand Army)

Lieutenant Colonel (LTCOL) Weston was originally appointed to command the last Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan, and later led the Theatre Extraction Team.

In May 2012 he led the strategic reconnaissance for the extraction of the Reconstruction Team and other New Zealand assets from Bamyan province. He was then hand-picked to command the theatre extraction operation. Beginning in October 2012, he oversaw the establishment of communication links and processes required to extract equipment and personnel from Bamyan in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. In this role he bore the responsibility for the execution of a complex redeployment from an isolated location in challenging environmental conditions, requiring the co-ordination of transport resources from New Zealand and coalition partners, as well as local contractors, for the movement of more than 750 tonnes of equipment and all Bamyan-based personnel. He also oversaw the closure of Kiwi Base and negotiated its handover to the Afghan government. He assumed command of Kiwi Base and maintained the security of the area until he and his team departed on the last aircraft. LTCOL Weston’s professionalism, dedication and leadership played a significant role in the successful extraction and return of Defence assets and personnel to New Zealand.

Captain Dominic Gareth Crosby Wylie (New Zealand Army)

Captain (CAPT) Wylie was the Afghan National Security Forces Liaison Officer for the duration of the final New Zealand contingent deployment to Bamyan, Afghanistan in 2013.

His role involved daily interaction with the Afghan National Police, the Afghan National Directorate of Security and the Afghan Provincial Operational Coordination Centre. CAPT Wylie’s efforts contributed to the readiness of the Afghan National Security Forces to face security challenges beyond the presence of New Zealand and other members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Bamyan province. He worked with the Afghans to improve their training, access to equipment and their ability to plan complex operations involving several agencies. He assisted in the establishment of an Afghan Peace and Reconciliation Council, a formal body that aims to reintegrate former insurgents into local society. He oversaw the re-establishment of the Afghan National Police Provincial Response Company, a group of highly trained paramilitary officers. CAPT Wylie prepared a comprehensive capability demonstration involving the various groups within the Afghan National Security Forces. This demonstration, the first of its kind to be held, showed the Afghan government and people of Bamyan the progress made by Afghan security forces and their ability to protect them after the departure of the ISAF.

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.

Related media statements:

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

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Update on the Long Service Awards Review

2 June 2014

A review of medals awarded for long and unblemished service has been under way for some time.

Earlier this year, the Minister of Defence asked the Prime Minister to consider a number of additional improvements to the long service awards system. The Prime Minister was supportive of these changes.

The Regulations are now being finalised. An announcement is expected by the end of 2014.

Also see:

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The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group: Service in South-East Asia 1950-2011 - Announcement of the decisions on the recommendations in the Final Report

13 March 2014

Minister of Defence media statement

The Government agrees with the Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group’s report that military personnel who served in South-East Asia have been appropriately recognised and additional medallic recognition is not justified.

“I know today’s decision will be disappointing for the former service men and women who have petitioned for additional medallic recognition,” says Dr Coleman.

“I would like to thank those who made submissions, and also the Joint Working Group who conducted a comprehensive review of the issue.

“The Joint Working Group came to the unanimous conclusion that the valuable contribution made by service men and women in South-East Asia has already been appropriately recognised.

“The Government agrees with the Joint Working Group’s finding that the New Zealand Defence Service Medal is the appropriate medallic recognition for personnel who served throughout the world in a range of deployments that do not meet the criteria for operational service. Nearly all military personnel who served in South-East Asia from 1950 are eligible for this medal.”

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group: Service in South-East Asia 1950-2011 received 68 submissions. The Joint Working Group included representatives from the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association, Veterans' Affairs New Zealand, and the NZ Defence Force.

The Joint Working Group’s report can be downloaded in pdf format on the South-East Asia Review page.

More information and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Joint Working Group’s report can be found on the South-East Asia Review FAQs page.

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Major Honour for NZ Defence Chief

1 January 2014

Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, the Chief of Defence Force, in Afghanistan in 2013

Caption: Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, the Chief of Defence Force, in Afghanistan in 2013.

The Chief of Defence Force (CDF), Lieutenant General (LT GEN) Rhys Jones has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in this year’s New Years Honours.

LT GEN Jones enlisted into the New Zealand Army in 1978 and attended the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Australia from 1979 to 1982.

During his time with the Army he has commanded at every senior level. He was the Commanding Officer of New Zealand’s armoured regiment, Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles (QAMR), and the Commander 3rd Land Force Group, based in the South Island. He was Land Component Commander within Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand, and in 2007 became the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand. He was appointed Chief of Army in 2009 before being promoted to the prestigious role of Chief of Defence Force in January 2011.

With his three year term now completed he will stand down in January 2014.

LT GEN Jones says, he is honoured and humbled to be awarded the CNZM.

“Despite the challenges of the job, my three years as Chief of Defence Force have been an absolute pleasure and I have been honoured to command the men and women of the NZ Defence Force. We have achieved a lot in this time including withdrawing out of three operational theatres – Timor, Solomon Islands and Afghanistan, all major undertakings.

“And we have been able to respond to every contingency that the Government’s required us to including the Christchurch earthquake, grounding of the MV Rena and recently Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

We have also advanced our aims of a Joint Amphibious Taskforce and successfully carried out Southern Katipo 13, a major exercise that tested the capability of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) to mount a medium-scale amphibious operation involving maritime, land and air assets.

“Our achievements during this time just show the quality of the men and women of the Defence Force and I have been proud to have been their leader.”

The Citation for the Award

To be a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM)

For services to the State.

"Lieutenant General Rhys Jones is completing his term as Chief of Defence Force, a role he assumed in January 2011.

Lieutenant General Jones enlisted into the New Zealand Army in 1978 and attended the Royal Military College, Duntroon Australia from 1979 to 1982. He graduated into the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps at the rank of Lieutenant. His staff appointments have been mainly within the Capability Development area, culminating in his appointment as the head of the NZ Defence Force Development Branch. He has had operational duty in the Middle East with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation, as an observer, then Operations Officer with the Observer Group Lebanon. He has commanded at every senior level. He was the Commanding Officer of New Zealand’s armoured regiment, Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles (QAMR), and the Commander 3rd Land Force Group based in the South Island. He was Land Component Commander within Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand, and in 2007 he became the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand. He was appointed the Chief of Army in 2009. Lieutenant General Jones was appointed for a three year term as Chief of Defence Force in 2011."

Related media statement:

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

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Defence personnel named in New Year Honours List

1 January 2014

Two New Zealand Defence Force personnel have been recognised for their distinguished service in the 2014 New Year’s Honours.

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

Warrant Officer Class 1 Graeme Alexander Bremner
New Zealand Army Band
Based at Burnham

Warrant Officer Class 1 Paul Allister Mumm
New Zealand Army
Based at Trentham

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)

Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Graeme Alexander Bremner

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force and brass bands.

WO1 Bremner is the longest serving member of the New Zealand Army Band, having enlisted in 1965.

He was appointed Drum Major in 1974 and in 1985 he became the first and only musician in the unit to be promoted through the ranks and attain the rank of WO1. He has held appointments as Drum Major and Bandmaster of the 1st Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) Band, based in Singapore, and the New Zealand Army Band. In the 1980s he initiated an extensive programme of public performances by the RNZIR Band in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore. In 2007 he was appointed as Liaison Officer for the New Zealand Army Band. He has managed a number of events for the Army Band, including the 2011 Rugby World Cup, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Windsor, and the 2010 Edinburgh Military Tattoo. He has been a member of the Woolston Brass Band Street March Championships. WO1 Bremner has won the Brass Band Association of New Zealand’s Champion Drum Major trophy seven times.

Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Paul Allister Mumm

For services to the New Zealand Defence Force.

WO1 Paul Mumm has provided exemplary service and commitment to developing the New Zealand Army’s All Arms weapons and shooting capabilities.

Since 2004 WO1 Mumm has been Head Coach of the New Zealand Army Combat Shooting Team. He has represented the New Zealand Army at international combat marksmanship competitions eleven times. He led the planning of the inaugural New Zealand Army Shooting Competition held in 2012. Through his efforts, the team representing the New Zealand Army achieved a highly regarded professional reputation among the 18 attending nations at the 2013 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting and also at the United Kingdom based Central Skill at Arms Meeting. His pursuit of excellence in this area has been achieved by volunteering a significant portion of his personal time. His guidance and expertise is regularly sought by the New Zealand Service Rifle Association. WO1 Mumm has encouraged a policy of cooperation between the New Zealand Defence Force and civilian shooting agencies to share resources and training knowledge.

Related media statements:

1 January 2014 - Major Honour for NZ Defence Chief

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

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2013 News Items

Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

20 December 2013

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group has presented its final report.

The Government will consider the report in 2014.

The Government's decisions on the recommendations from the Joint Working Group will be widely publicised, including in the RSA Review and on the Breaking News page of the NZDF Medals website.

For further information see the South-East Asia review page of our website.

Related news items:

23 September 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

30 May 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

12 July 2011 - Consultation begins on medals for military service in South-East Asia 1950 to 2011

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Police praise New Zealand Bravery Honours recipients

2 December 2013

New Zealand Police media release (reproduced from http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/police-praise-new-zealand-bravery-honours-recipients)

New Zealand Police welcome today’s announcement that 17 people, including eight police officers or former officers, are recipients of the country’s highest awards for bravery.

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall said he is delighted to see the extraordinary courage of so many people honoured at Royal level.

“The courageous and selfless acts of these men and women, young and old, who risked their lives to save people and in many cases prevent further violence from happening was just outstanding,” Commissioner Marshall said.

“They acted without hesitation knowing that people had been shot and injured, others kidnapped, stabbed or trapped in burning vehicles. Their motivation in helping rescue those whose lives were endangered is inspirational and they fully deserve the gratitude of all New Zealanders.

“Many recipients are humbled by the award and wonder why they have been singled out for special recognition, thinking that they were simply doing their job, responding as good neighbours, or as people do when they see others including strangers, at risk. One officer modestly declined an award for these reasons.

“Whether you’re trained to deal with the unexpected, danger or violence or purely acted out of instinct, the bottom line is that each and every one of the recipients put their lives on the line to help save someone else.”

There are four levels of New Zealand bravery honours. They are the New Zealand Cross for acts of great bravery in situations of extreme danger; the New Zealand Bravery Star for acts of outstanding bravery in situations of danger; the New Zealand Bravery Decoration for acts of exceptional bravery in situations of danger and the New Zealand Bravery Medal for acts of bravery.

Police officers have been awarded honours for their bravery in two high profile firearms incidents. These were:
• the 2009 shooting on 22 December 2009 in Papatoetoe when a gunman shot and injured Constable Jeremy Snow four times,
• the 13 July 2010 incident in Buccleugh Street, Phillipstown, Christchurch when an armed offender shot and injured Senior Constable Bruce Lamb in the face, fatally shot his police dog Gage and shot and injured Constable Mitch Alatalo in the leg.

Sergeant Michael Wardle, Nelson Police, New Zealand Bravery Decoration:

On 13 July 2010, during the course of a search and arrest at a house in Phillipstown, Christchurch, an armed offender shot and injured Senior Constable Bruce Lamb in the face, fatally shot his police dog Gage and shot and injured Constable Mitch Alatalo.

One Constable dragged Senior Constable Lamb by his belt down the hallway and out of immediate danger as Constable Alatalo escaped through a window. Sergeant Wardle, who was then a Constable, fired his taser at the offender who attempted to shoot him. The rifle jammed. The offender followed the officers and again aimed his rifle at Sergeant Wardle who stood his ground and maintained a position between him and the other officers giving them time to get to safety.

Detective Gregory Cater, Counties Manukau Police; Constable James Collins, Counties Manukau Police; Detective Constable Edward Michael Luxford (now resigned and living in Australia); Constable Johan Mulder, Counties Manukau Police; Constable Liam Pham (now resigned and living in Australia); Constable Andrew Warne, Counties Manukau and Sergeant Chris Turnbull, Taupo Police (formerly a Constable in Counties Manukau) – all receive the New Zealand Bravery Medal.

Shortly before 4am on 22 December 2009, Constable Jeremy Snow suffered life threatening injuries when he was shot while on patrol with a colleague in Papatoetoe. The officers had stopped to check out a suspicious looking vehicle in a driveway and when Constable Snow approached the car he was shot, collapsing in the property’s yard.

The alarm was raised and police responded in numbers to the scene. An immediate action team of experienced officers was formed, led by Sergeant Turnbull. It included Detective Cater, Constable Collins, Detective Constable Luxford and Constables Mulder, Pham and Warne.

They rapidly approached in two vehicles, positioning them for cover, and then advanced up the driveway on foot to find the seriously injured Constable Snow. Bleeding profusely and with a fractured leg, Constable Snow needed to be evacuated quickly, but it was not immediately known where the gunman had gone.

Constables Collins, Pham and Warne and Detective Constable Luxford carried their wounded colleague 103m to a patrol car and then drove at speed to an ambulance waiting on the street.

Sergeant Turnbull, Constable Mulder and Detective Cater stayed at the property to provide cover while Constable Snow was extricated. The trio stayed observing the property until they were relieved by other officers.

The situation was made more dangerous by the fact that the number and location of offenders was unknown. The gunman was found a short time later by other police.

Commissioner Marshall also acknowledged the courage of members of the public honoured with bravery awards.

These included Ms Georgina Langford, her mother Mrs Jan Boyd and stepfather Mr John Boyd who confronted an agitated gunman who shot another family member at a rural address near Nelson on 21 April 2011.

Two other Christchurch incidents also resulted in bravery honours. Elderly Mrs Lois Kennedy heard her neighbour calling for help early in the morning of 21 January 2011. She knew that her neighbour’s middle-aged son was staying with his mother and that his deteriorating mental state had reached the point where Mrs Kennedy was afraid of him.

Although it was dark, the visually impaired Mrs Kennedy picked up a hearth brush, went outside without the use of her walking frame and approached what she thought was a bundle in the garden. Feeling her way and following the cries for help, she came in contact with the man crouched over his mother and attacking her with a blunt samurai sword.

Responding to the feel of the blade Mrs Kennedy swung the hearth brush at the man, connecting several times. The man kicked at her and, unable to physically stop the attack, Mrs Kennedy returned to her unit and called police for help.

Her neighbour suffered bites, bruising and cuts and Mrs Kennedy’s hand was injured.

On 15 March 2012, construction worker Mr Jade Lynn was on his way to work in Christchurch when he saw a man standing in the middle of the road waving two large knives and threatening members of the public. The man was trying to get into cars and attempted to stab a cyclist. He had already kidnapped two people and had stabbed them both with blood visible on the knives.

Mr Lynn got out of his truck and tried to reason with the man who threatened to kill him and swung at him with one of the knives. He started to walk towards Mr Lynn who fearing for his life, took a steel pinch bar from his truck and confronted the man in an effort to protect other members of the public. During this time he yelled at passers-by to stay away and lock their doors while he continued to engage the man’s attention and distract him until police arrived.

Two Amberley, North Canterbury, men Mark Allen and Ken Reilly climbed into a crashed and burning car to pull free a trapped and injured driver, moments before the front of the car was engulfed in flames. The men had stopped to help the victims of a two car crash on SH 1 in North Canterbury on 2 May 2011.

A crash between a car and light truck near Hastings on 16 October 2010 resulted in Hastings man Colin Wiggins and Wellingtonian Martin Kay stopping their cars and run to save victims.

The truck had tipped onto its side on the road with its 75-year-old driver trapped inside. The car ended up into a ditch with its 17-year-old driver trapped. Both vehicles erupted into flames sending a thick plume of black smoke into the air.

Mr Kay and Mr Wiggins dragged the car driver free, and ran to the truck but could not see the driver because of the smoke. Mr Kay used a hammer to try and smash the windscreen but was blown back by smoke. Mr Wiggins completed smashing out the windscreen and felt around the truck to find the driver. Both dragged the driver to safety before the truck was completely engulfed in flames.

Citations: The award citations for recipients of the Special Honours List 2 December 2013 are available on the New Zealand Honours Unit (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) website.

Related media statement about the incident for which Sergeant Michael Wardle, Nelson Police, has been awarded the New Zealand Bravery Decoration:

22 August 2013 - Police dog Gage receives a posthumous award for life saving act

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NZ Navy personnel earn Australian medals for pirate patrol

8 November 2013

Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Jack Steer, Leading Hydrographic Survey Technician Matthew Barber, Petty Officer Seaman Combat Specialist Josh Tatana, Able Seaman Combat Specialist Dylan Thomas and Australian Defence Attaché Captain Stephanie Moles

Caption: Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Jack Steer, Leading Hydrographic Survey Technician Matthew Barber, Petty Officer Seaman Combat Specialist Josh Tatana, Able Seaman Combat Specialist Dylan Thomas and Australian Defence Attaché Captain Stephanie Moles.

 

Three Royal New Zealand Navy sailors have earned the Australian Active Service Medal for their work on pirate patrol in the Gulf of Aden onboard an Australian frigate, the first New Zealand Defence Force personnel to receive this award.

The recipients are Leading Hydrographic Survey Technician Matthew Barber, Petty Officer Seaman Combat Specialist Josh Tatana and Able Seaman Combat Specialist Dylan Thomas.

Their medals were presented yesterday at Devonport Naval Base by the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Jack Steer, Royal New Zealand Navy and Australian Defence Attaché, Captain Stephanie Moles, Royal Australian Navy.

The presentation recognises their service embarked in HMAS MELBOURNE in 2012 supporting the Combined Maritime Force operations in the Gulf of Aden. The three sailors were part of the ship’s boat crew, performing duties such as seaboat coxswain and boarding operations.

The awarding of the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) with the International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT) clasp recognises the significant and longstanding defence relationship between New Zealand and Australia, said Rear Admiral Steer.

“Our Navy people regularly work closely with the services of other countries. I am proud of these sailors and their efforts serving alongside their Australian shipmates. The opportunity to wear an Australian medal offers a unique means of recognising their service.”

Captain Moles said: “The offer of the AASM and ICAT clasp to three Royal New Zealand Navy sailors is an acknowledgment by the Australian Government of the high value placed on the contribution made by NZ Defence Force personnel to the Australian Defence Force.”

“These NZDF personnel receiving these awards are special. They are the first recipients of this Australian award in the New Zealand Defence Force.”

Leading Hydrographic Survey Technician Matthew Barber said it was an honour to wear both the New Zealand and Australian medals. “Hydrographers don’t get many opportunities to deploy that far afield.”

The RNZN and Royal Australian Navy conduct regular exchanges of personnel for training and operational deployments.

Three more RNZN sailors are presently deployed onboard HMAS MELBOURNE supporting Combined Maritime Force operations in the Gulf of Aden.

The three RNZN sailors were also presented with the New Zealand Operational Service Medal, as their service on HMAS MELBOURNE was their first deployment on operational service for New Zealand.

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Gallantry Award for Auckland Air Force Pilot

5 November 2013

Squadron Leader Ben Pryor received his New Zealand Gallantry Medal from the Governor General, Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, at a special ceremony at Government House

Caption: Squadron Leader Ben Pryor received his New Zealand Gallantry Medal from the Governor General, Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, at a special ceremony at Government House.

 

Multiple displays of "remarkable courage in the face of extreme danger" whilst deployed to Afghanistan have seen a Royal New Zealand Air Force pilot decorated with the New Zealand Gallantry Medal in Wellington today.

Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Ben Pryor received his New Zealand Gallantry Medal from the Governor General, Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, at a special ceremony at Government House this morning.

Now based in Ohakea, SQNLDR Pryor was a Flight Lieutenant when he served as a helicopter pilot on secondment to the Royal Air Force between 2009 and 2012, in support of British Forces in Afghanistan.

On 22 April 2012, when captain of the lead Chinook helicopter of an eight-ship aviation assault with the Special Forces Support Group, SQNLDR Pryor’s aircraft came under intense enemy fire.

Despite his helicopter being hit three times, SQNLDR Pryor made a second approach to get his troops safely onto the ground and to direct effective suppressive fire from the aircraft.

A month later, he conducted an emergency evacuation of a casualty. Again his helicopter came under heavy enemy fire, but SQNLDR Pryor kept the aircraft on the ground and engaged the enemy with the aircraft weapons system until the medical team was able to get the casualty safely onto the aircraft to be taken to medical facilities at Camp Bastion.

On both missions SQNLDR Pryor displayed leadership, calmness, courage, skill and professionalism while under intense pressure and enemy fire.

Full Citation. The full citation for the award to Squadron Leader Ben Pryor can be viewed on the Recipients of the New Zealand Gallantry Medal page of our website.

Related news item:

20 April 2013 - Gallantry Awards Announced

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Meritorious medal for NZDF and NZ Police

17 October 2013

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman and Police Minister Anne Tolley have today welcomed the introduction of new meritorious medals to recognise outstanding service by personnel in the NZ Defence Force and NZ Police.

“We have some great people in the Defence Force, and it is important to recognise and reward outstanding service,” says Dr Coleman.

“The new Defence Meritorious Service Medal can be awarded in circumstances where personnel demonstrate exceptional performance, commitment or innovation. The medal is open to all Defence Force personnel regardless of rank, length of service or whether they are military or civilian.”

The new Police Meritorious Service Medal can be awarded by the Police Commissioner to any Police employee. It will not necessarily be awarded for acts of bravery which are recognised within existing awards. There is also provision for posthumous awards to be made.

“Our Police staff show courage, dedication and professionalism every single day, and it is fitting that all employees are eligible for this new medal,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Criteria includes high performance, innovation and inspiration, dedication to serving communities and applying sound professional judgement in difficult circumstances.”

The Defence Meritorious Service Medal replaces the New Zealand Meritorious Service Medal which was only available to Regular Force non-commissioned officers and warrant officers who completed 21 years service. There was also a limit on the number of awards available.

“The old meritorious medal carried a number of restrictions which have been lifted under the guidelines for the new medal. The Defence Meritorious Service Medal also fills a gap which has existed for some time in the range of honours and awards available to the Defence Force,” says Dr Coleman.

More information:

14 July 2014 - The inaugural awards of the Defence Meritorious Service Medal

17 October 2013 - Defence Meritorious Service Medal Introduced

including Administration and Nomination Process for the DMSM (added on 7 November 2013)

17 October 2013 - Meritorious Service Medal introduced for Police

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Defence Meritorious Service Medal Introduced

17 October 2013

Statement by Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, Chief of Defence Force

I’m pleased to announce the introduction of a new medal - the Defence Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM).

The Defence Meritorious Service Medal will recognise outstanding service across the whole of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). It can be awarded to all ranks of NZDF, Regular and Reserve Forces and civilians, regardless of the recipient’s rank, grade, Service affiliation, or length of service. The Medal can also be awarded posthumously.

The DMSM recognises the changing environment that Defence Force personnel work in now and will in the future. It fills a significant gap that has existed for some time in the range of honours and awards available to the NZDF.

The DMSM may be awarded by Chief of Defence Force in recognition of an act, conduct or service that, in the opinion of CDF, is outstanding and worthy of medallic recognition.

In the hierarchy of awards for distinguished and meritorious service, the DMSM comes after the New Zealand Order of Merit and Distinguished Service Decoration and before the Chief of Defence Force and Service Chief’s Commendations.

The DMSM replaces the New Zealand Meritorious Service Medal (MSM). The MSM continues to be officially recognised and can still be worn by recipients.

The Commissioner of Police, Peter Marshall, will also inform his staff of the introduction of a new Police Meritorious Service Medal which is also being announced today.

New Zealand Police and NZDF worked closely with the Government for approval to be given in a Royal Warrant signed by the Queen, and Regulations that will be signed by the Governor-General to ensure the medals could be struck and awarded.

Lieutenant General Rhys Jones
Chief of Defence Force

Images of the Defence Meritorious Service Medal (obverse on the left; reverse on the right)

New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal obverse - frontNew Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal reverse

Royal Warrant

The Royal Warrant for the New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal can be viewed as a pdf file (251 kb). The Royal Warrant can be viewed as text / html at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2013/0429/latest/DLM5287201.html (on the Parliamentary Counsel Office's New Zealand Legislation website).

Regulations

The Regulations for the New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal will be made publicly available after they have been signed by the Governor-General and the Minister of Defence.

About the ribbon

The colours of the ribbon for the DMSM have the following origins and meanings:

Historically, crimson has been used in the design of long service and merit awards since 1830 in the British Army and since the 1887 for distinctive New Zealand military medals, e.g. the New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal (1887-1931), the original and 1985 New Zealand Meritorious Service Medal. The ribbon of the New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal (1887-1931) was crimson with two narrow white central stripes.

The ribbon of the New Zealand Meritorious Service Medal is crimson with a green central stripe. This design has been amended for the DMSM ribbon by the addition of a narrow white stripe either side of the central green stripe and a narrow yellow stripe at each edge.

The colours have been selected to provide a link with the two MSMs awarded in New Zealand and the historic New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal (1887-1931)

Yellow alludes to achievement or brilliance. In heraldry, yellow also often refers to gold.

Green is a colour associated with all three Services (Navy, Army and Air).

Designer

The New Zealand Herald of Arms, Mr Phillip O’Shea, LVO, designed the DMSM and its ribbon. Mr O’Shea has designed most New Zealand awards instituted since 1973 including the Queen’s Service Order and the New Zealand Order of Merit, and campaign medals such as the New Zealand General Service Medal 1992, New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 and the East Timor Medal, as well as the New Zealand Operational Service Medal.

Order of Wear (updated 21 February 2014)

The DMSM will be worn immediately after the MSM.

No Post Nominal

The award of the New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal does not confer a right to use a post nominal.

Administration and Nomination Process (this information was added on 7 November 2013)

The Office of the Military Secretary to the Chief of Defence Force administers the DMSM.

The nomination process is the same as for the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD).

For any questions on the nomination process please contact Mr David Baguley, Assistant Military Secretary to CDF (Honours and Awards) - DTelN 349-8814.

Related media statements and CDF announcements:

14 July 2014 - The inaugural awards of the Defence Meritorious Service Medal

17 October 2013 - Meritorious medal for NZDF and NZ Police

17 October 2013 - Meritorious Service Medal introduced for Police

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Meritorious Service Medal Introduced for Police

17 October 2013

Statement by Police Commissioner Peter Marshall

Meritorious Service Medal introduced for Police

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall today welcomed the announcement from the Ministers of Police and Defence that Royal approval has been given for a Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) to be introduced.

“The MSM is the culmination of extensive research and consultation within Police, Defence and at Government level. It’s a wonderful new Medal that as Commissioner I can award to staff who are providing an outstanding service and achievement to New Zealand Police and the communities in which they work.”

Commissioner Marshall expects to present the first Police recipients within six months.

“This is a prestigious new medal which fills a gap between existing internal Awards and higher Royal Honours including New Zealand Bravery Awards.

“There is no set number of New Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medals to be awarded each year, but the numbers won’t be high to reflect the special value they hold within Police. This Medal is an award to aspire to –and may be awarded to any Police employee irrespective of their rank or role or powers.

The silver medal features the profile of the Queen on the obverse, and the New Zealand Police crest on the reverse. The ribbon has two crimson stripes the same as the New Zealand Police Long Service and Good Conduct ribbon, a Prussian Blue stripe which is a traditional Police colour – and four yellow gold stripes signifying excellence.

Images of the Police Meritorious Service Medal (obverse on the left; close-up of the reverse on the right)

New Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medal obverse - frontNew Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medal close-up of reverse

The images are courtesy of the New Zealand Police National Headquarters.

Royal Warrant

The Royal Warrant for the New Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medal can be viewed as a pdf file (251 kb). The Royal Warrant can be viewed as text / html at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2013/0430/latest/DLM5287301.html (on the Parliamentary Counsel Office's New Zealand Legislation website).

Regulations

The Regulations for the New Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medal will be made publicly available after they have been signed by the Governor-General and the Minister of Police.

Designer

The New Zealand Herald of Arms, Mr Phillip O’Shea, LVO, designed the NZ Police MSM and its ribbon.

Order of Wear (updated 21 February 2014)

The NZ Police MSM will be worn immediately after the NZ Defence MSM.

No Post Nominal

The award of the New Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medal does not confer a right to use a post nominal.

Related media statements:

17 October 2013 - Meritorious medal for NZDF and NZ Police

17 October 2013 - Defence Meritorious Service Medal introduced

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Update on the Long Service Awards Review

30 September 2013

A review of medals awarded for long and unblemished service has been under way for some time. New Regulations for the long service awards are currently being drafted.

During the drafting process a number of potential additional improvements to the long service awards system have been identified. Senior NZDF management will soon consider these additional changes, and if supported, the additional changes will be forwarded to the Government for their consideration.

Once final decisions have been made on the potential additional improvements the draft Regulations will be modified, and submitted to the Minister of Defence and the Governor-General. An announcement is expected early in 2014.

Also see:

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Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

23 September 2013

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group has completed its additional archival research on naval service from 1950 to the 1970s.

One of the positive outcomes of the extra research has been the location of some of the instructions given to Royal New Zealand Navy Ships.

These documents will be important in the final decision-making process and we have now forwarded our findings to the Royal New Zealand Navy for comment.

Once they have provided feedback on the findings, we will finalise this report along with the main report on service in South-East Asia. Both reports will then be submitted to the Minister of Defence for his consideration.

The Joint Working Group expects to present its final report to the Government before the end of 2013.

The Government's decisions on the recommendations from the Joint Working Group will be widely publicised, including in the RSA Review and on the Breaking News page of the NZDF Medals website.

For further information see the South-East Asia review page of our website.

Related news items:

30 May 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

12 July 2011 - Consultation begins on medals for military service in South-East Asia 1950 to 2011

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Over 54,000 NZ Defence Service Medals issued so far

23 September 2013

As at 23 September 2013, more than 44,100 NZ Defence Service Medals have been issued to ex-Service persons. In addition, more than 9,900 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.

How to apply online for the NZ Defence Service Medal

Note 1: Living ex-Service persons can apply online (just click on the How to Apply Online button above) or can complete and submit a paper application form. If you are able to, please fill in the online version of the application form instead of a paper form. This will assist the processing of your application.

Information for NZDF civilian employees who are former Service persons: The online application form is not mirrored on the NZDF intranet. You will need be apply online from an internet capable computer.

Note 2: Families of deceased ex-Service persons should not fill in the online form because you will need to apply in writing due to the requirement to submit a Statutory Declaration (witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, Solicitor, or Officer duly authorised to take Statutory Declarations) stating that you have the greatest legal entitlement to be issued with your relative's medal, and providing copies of relevant documentation to prove this.

The full instructions are in the Application form on behalf of another person for the award of New Zealand Defence Service Medal - (pdf format 204 kb).

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Police dog Gage receives a posthumous award for life saving act

22 August 2013

New Zealand Police media release (reproduced from http://www.police.govt.nz/news/featured/police-dog-gage-receives-posthumous-award-life-saving-act-video)

Christchurch Police dog Gage, fatally shot three years ago when defending the life of his handler and other officers, was today (22 August) presented posthumously with the PDSA Gold Medal - the animals' equivalent of the George Cross, or the New Zealand Cross for outstanding bravery and exceptional dedication.

Senior Constable Bruce Lamb, Gage's handler, received the award on Gage's behalf from His Excellency, Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae in a moving ceremony at Christchurch Police Station.

The Governor General paid tribute to Gage's selfless actions, saying they "typified an unwavering bond that generates an unselfish dedication, service and courage to a mate". He thanked all New Zealand Police for their work and service in keeping communities safe.

Acting Commissioner Viv Rickard and Canterbury District Commander Superintendent Gary Knowles also praised the bravery of Gage and all officers who responded to the 13 July 2010 incident.

The final word went to Senior Constable Lamb: "Thanks to the PDSA, the guys who were there on the day, and everyone who helped out. Lastly Gage, without him I simply wouldn't be here."

More information:

For details about the PDSA Gold Medal, the award to Gage, go to the following pages of the PDSA (The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals - a UK veterinary charity) website:

http://www.pdsa.org.uk/about-us/animal-bravery-awards/pdsa-gold-medal

http://www.pdsa.org.uk/about-us/animal-bravery-awards

http://www.pdsa.org.uk/about-us/animal-bravery-awards/gage

http://www.pdsa.org.uk/about-us/animal-bravery-awards/gold-medal-dogs

On the NZ Police website is a video in which Senior Constable Bruce Lamb recounts the incident that led to the fatal shooting of Police dog Gage. Go to http://www.police.govt.nz/news/featured/police-dog-gage-receives-posthumous-award-life-saving-act-video

Related media statement about the award of the New Zealand Bravery Decoration to Sergeant Michael Wardle, Nelson Police for his actions during the 13 July 2010 incident:

2 December 2013 - Police praise New Zealand Bravery Honours recipients

Other awards by the PDSA:

The PDSA Dickin Medal - http://www.pdsa.org.uk/about-us/animal-bravery-awards/pdsa-dickin-medal

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Afghan interpreters receive NZ medals

14 June 2013

Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman welcomes today’s presentation of New Zealand operational medals to the 30 Afghan interpreters who have resettled in New Zealand.

“I am very pleased that our Afghan interpreters who served with our troops and police in the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) in Bamyan are being awarded these medals today,” says Dr Coleman.

“As New Zealand residents, it is appropriate that they receive the same medallic recognition as the New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police personnel they served alongside.

“The interpreters played a vital role in the operation of the NZPRT. They risked their lives to help New Zealanders, and we are very grateful for their service.

“Today the group is resettling in Hamilton and Palmerston North, and I’m sure they will be warmly welcomed by the local community. It is great to see that they are starting their new lives in New Zealand with their families. I wish them the very best for the future.”

Chief of Army, Major General Dave Gawn, is presenting the group with the New Zealand General Service Medal (Afghanistan) Primary Operational Area (NZGSM) and the New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM).

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Six NZDF Personnel named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list

3 June 2013

Six New Zealand Defence Force personnel have been named in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours list. They will all receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD).

The six Queen's Birthday Honours recipients are:

Warrant Officer Combat Systems Specialist James Ernest Harper, Royal New Zealand Navy

Based in Devonport W/O Combat Systems Specialist Harper has had a 33 year career in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), specialising in underwater warfare.

Lieutenant Colonel Robin Michael Hoult, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, NZ Army

Based in Christchurch, LTCOL Hoult led a project to develop and implement the NZ Army Leadership Framework over a five year period to improve the way formal leadership training was delivered at each rank level.

Lieutenant Colonel Stefan John Michie, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, NZ Army

Based in Canberra, LTCOL Michie was Commanding Officer (CO) of 2/1st Battalion, on 22 February 2011 when a major earthquake occurred in Christchurch. His Battalion established the initial cordon around the central business district and maintained a security presence on the cordon for three months.

Sergeant Lindsay Norriss, Royal New Zealand Air Force

Based in Woodbourne, SGT Norriss has managed, on a voluntary basis and in his own time, the ‘In Loco Parentis’ (ILP) scheme at RNZAF Woodbourne since 1996. The ILP provides young trainees with multiple experiences to explore their abilities, learn about teamwork and sow the seeds of an active lifestyle.

Major Brent John Quin, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps, NZ Army

Based in Trentham, MAJ Quin served in Afghanistan from September 2010 to April 2011.

Petty Officer Diver Scott Matthew Treleaven, Royal New Zealand Navy

Based in Devonport, Petty Officer Diver Treleaven is a senior member of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Operational Diving Team. He lead the team two during tragic accidents where both operations were conducted in isolated locations, under extremely challenging environmental conditions, and with the presence of grieving family members.

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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 statements:

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

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Defence Minister welcomes Bomber Command, Arctic Star awards

2 June 2013

Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman welcomes two new United Kingdom awards for service in Bomber Command and the Arctic Circle during World War II.

13 Bomber Command Clasps and an Arctic Star are being presented today to a group of Kiwi veterans at the Auckland War Memorial Museum Hall of Memories at an event organised by the Bomber Command Association.

“It is great to see these veterans being awarded the recognition for their service during WWII. It is fitting that they were able to receive their awards today, marking the annual Commonwealth Bomber Command Day celebration,” says Dr Coleman.

“These awards recognise the great bravery of those who contributed to two highly significant campaigns. Personnel who served north of the Arctic Circle and the aircrew in Bomber Command faced many dangers. A significant number of New Zealanders died whilst serving their country during WWII. We pay tribute to the sacrifices of so many and remember those who never returned home.”

In February this year the UK Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans announced the institution of the Bomber Command Clasp and the Arctic Star. The awards are the first new Commonwealth WWII awards since the late 1940s when the original medallic recognition system was finalised.

Up to 6,000 NZ Armed Forces personnel served as aircrew in Bomber Command and up to 1,000 former Royal New Zealand Navy or former New Zealand Merchant Navy personnel served north of the Arctic Circle during WWII.

The UK Ministry of Defence is supplying the awards free of charge and the NZ Defence Force will administer them. The NZ Defence Force estimates that around 2,000 applications may be received for the Bomber Command Clasp and around 300 applications for the Arctic Star. The awards can be issued to veterans or to the next of kin of those who are deceased.

More information, images and how to apply:

See our 30 May 2013 news item - Applications open for the Arctic Star and the Bomber Command Clasp

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Applications open for the Arctic Star and the Bomber Command Clasp

30 May 2013

The Arctic Star (obverse visible) in its presentation box The Bomber Command Clasp (with the ribbon for the 1939-45 Star) in a presentation box

Applications are now open for the Arctic Star and the Bomber Command Clasp.

Many New Zealanders who served on the Arctic convoys, or north of the Arctic Circle on other war duties, or who flew with Bomber Command during the Second World War - or their family members - are entitled to apply for these awards. A Summary of the Eligibility Criteria for the Arctic Star and for the Bomber Command Clasp is provided below.

A NZDF application form will need to be completed.

- Living NZ military veterans and living NZ Merchant Navy personnel should complete NZDF Medals Office Application Form No. 1.

- Family members of deceased NZ military veterans and NZ Merchant Navy personnel should complete NZDF Medals Office Application Form No. 2.

- Both forms can be downloaded from our Application Forms page, or paper copies can be requested via our Online Contact Form or by phoning 04 527-5270.

The NZDF Medals Office is acting as the agent of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (UKMOD) for persons whose records (military and Merchant Navy) are only held in New Zealand. The UKMOD will supply the medals and clasps to the NZDF Medals Office in batches for issue to eligible New Zealand veterans and their widows (with urgency) and to other family members of deceased personnel (starting towards the end of this year). The UKMOD is managing the issue of these awards across the Commonwealth, and have specified the priority order for issue and the timelines.

Applications from living NZ military veterans or widows of deceased NZ military veterans will be processed with urgency. There may be a few weeks delay while additional medals and clasps are sourced from the United Kingdom.

Applications from other family members will be processed as quickly as possible, however stocks for families of the medals and clasps are not expected to start arriving in New Zealand until towards the end of this year.

Notes:

Depending on your eligibility, the following application processes apply. Veterans fall into four categories, and the application process that is recommended for each is:

1. NZ/Commonwealth veterans who served as attested members of the NZ Armed Forces or in the NZ Merchant Navy: The NZDF is now accepting applications for the awards from living ex-Service persons and the relatives of deceased ex-Service persons. (This includes Merchant Navy personnel).

2. British veterans who emigrated post-Second World War: Applications should be sent to UK Ministry of Defence (UKMOD) Medal Office for assessment and dispatch. Via the process and application form specified at http://www.veterans-uk.info/arctic_star_index.htm

3. NZ/Commonwealth veterans who only served with British Armed Forces: Applications should be sent to the UKMOD Medal Office for assessment and dispatch. Via the process and application form specified at http://www.veterans-uk.info/arctic_star_index.htm

4. NZ/Commonwealth veterans who served with other Commonwealth nation's forces: Applications should be through the respective country's medal application processes. Further information to be added in due course on the process.

Summary of the Eligibility Criteria for the Arctic Star

The Arctic Star recognises operational service of any length (i.e. one day, or part of, or more) north of the Arctic Circle (66 degrees, 32’N) between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945 (VE Day). This includes:

a. Service by personnel of any Service on the ‘Russian Convoys’;

b. Service in RAF Coastal Command, other RAF Squadrons and Fleet Air Arm crew who flew at least one sortie north of the Arctic Circle;

c. Army personnel who took part in land operations north of the Arctic Circle;

d. Army and Royal Marines personnel who served in His Majesty’s ships or Merchant ships north of the Arctic Circle; and

e. Merchant Navy personnel other than the Russian Convoys, who served north of the Arctic Circle.

Order of Wear of the Arctic Star

Advice from the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence is that the Arctic Star will be worn between the Air Crew Europe Star and the Africa Star.

This is because Second World War theatre stars are worn in chronological order of the start date of the operations in the theatre that the Stars represent. Royal Navy ships were at their war stations in the Atlantic the day the War started. The first Royal Air Force bombing sorties took place over Germany on 4 September 1939, the second day of the War. Chronologically, therefore, it is appropriate that the Atlantic Star takes precedence over the Air Crew Europe Star in the Order of Wear. Operations north of the Arctic Circle (not least the April-June 1940 Norway campaign) took place before operations which qualified for the Africa Star began on 10 June 1940.

The correct order of wear in New Zealand for Second World War medals will consequently be: 1939-1945 Star, Atlantic Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Arctic Star, Africa Star, Pacific Star, Burma Star, Italy Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, New Zealand War Service Medal.

For more information on the Order of Wear see The Wearing of Medals in New Zealand page of our website.

Summary of the Eligibility Criteria for the Bomber Command Clasp

The Bomber Command Clasp (which is worn on the 1939-45 Star) recognises those who between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945 (VE Day) who:

a. Served as aircrew on a Bomber Command operational unit for at least 60 days, or completed a tour of operations; and

b. Flew at least one operational sortie.

Note 1: The above criteria mean that eligible personnel will have already qualified for the 1939-45 Star.

Note 2: Special Cases - The clasp will usually also be issued in respect of Bomber Command aircrew who do not meet the above qualifying criteria but:

(1) had their service brought to an end by death, wounds or other disability due to service; or

(2) received a gallantry award for their Bomber Command service; or

(3) were taken as a prisoner of war.

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Links:

NZDF Application Forms

The 1939-45 Star - information on the 1939-45 Star (on the NZDF Medals website)

http://www.defence.gov.au/medals - The Directorate of Honours and Awards, Australian Department of Defence

http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/cmdp/mainmenu - Canadian Military Medals and Decorations section of the Veterans' Affairs Canada website

Information on medallic recognition for Merchant Navy personnel. (added on 21 June 2013)

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Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

30 May 2013

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group has nearly finished its archival research. This has been a challenging review because of its extensive scope. Research on the range of issues and questions raised has required far more time and effort than was first expected.

One of the positive outcomes of the extra research has been the location of some of the instructions given to Royal New Zealand Navy Ships. These documents will be important in the final decision-making process.

The Joint Working Group expects to present its final report to the Government by July 2013.

The Government's decisions on the recommendations from the Joint Working Group will be widely publicised, including in the RSA Review and on the Breaking News page of the NZDF Medals website.

For further information see the South-East Asia review page of our website.

Related news items:

23 September 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

4 March 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

12 July 2011 - Consultation begins on medals for military service in South-East Asia 1950 to 2011

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North Shore Army officer decorated for service in Afghanistan

29 May 2013

Lieutenant Jordy Gale receives his New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration from the Governor General

Caption: Lieutenant Jordy Gale receives his New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration from the Governor General.

 

Lieutenant (LT) Jordy Gale had more than his fair share of close calls in Afghanistan. On 23 May the former Long Bay College student was invested with the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) for his leadership and tactical skills whilst serving in Afghanistan from March to September 2011.

LT Gale commanded a patrol which worked in the NZ Defence Force’s Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV). They would regularly patrol through areas known for insurgent activity, always working to keep the province safe. LT Gale’s patrol was attacked by insurgents on two separate occasions during his tour. He says the fact that he and his soldiers left Afghanistan relatively unscathed was due to the team he had and the way his soldiers reacted.

"I was pretty blessed to have the guys I did in my group."

The first attack he experienced was while his patrol moved through the Bamyan Province’s Shikari Valley and his LAV was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED).

"I knew instantly we’d struck an IED as we lurched and there was dust, sand and rocks everywhere. I dropped down from the turret and made sure the guys in the back were OK. I was worried about my two crewmen on the side where the IED had gone off, and I thought my driver had been killed. When he told me he was okay I felt a massive flood of relief."

The insurgents continued their attack with rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), but the Kiwis fought back and the insurgents were forced to withdraw. LT Gale says he was "pretty stoked" with how his soldiers applied their training during the incident.

Two and a half months later he was patrolling in Bamyan’s troubled north-east when he suddenly heard a huge explosion. The rear vehicle in their patrol had narrowly been missed by an IED and again they were subjected to rocket attacks.

"My first thoughts were, ‘here we go again’. It was exactly the same as last time. The RPGs came sailing in and my sergeant turned our LAV turret and unleashed some rounds. We were all OK, and cordoned off the area and did everything we had to do."

On 8 September his patrol was sent to an area to support the local Afghan National Police. Their vehicle had been ambushed and five police officers had been shot dead.

"We had a look at the site and while we were there, one of the soldiers found a ball of rolled up wire and a container of homemade explosive and a firing device hidden and ready to be used." The equipment was for an IED and his patrol had managed to prevent another likely attack.

LT Gale says he felt honoured to receive the Distinguished Service Decoration from the Governor-General, Lieutenant General the Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, at Government House. He praised his patrol and said the award was as much theirs as it was his.

"We had worked together for two years before deploying and were a pretty tight group. You need to know that when something goes down you can trust each other to do what you are trained to do."

LT Gale is married to Lauren and the two have an 18-month old son. LT Gale is currently a member of the Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles based in Linton Military Camp.

Related media statement:

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

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Wearing family member's medals with pride on Anzac Day

23 April 2013

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 deceased ex-service personnel on the right side of the chest for national days of memorial. This includes Anzac Day and Remembrance Day (11 November), as well as other notable events.

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General (LTGEN) Rhys Jones says: "Each year I am delighted to see a large number of New Zealanders wearing their relatives' medals at Anzac Day services.

"By doing so they are honouring the memory of their relative by wearing the 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 allowed to wear their deceased relatives' medals while in uniform on this day, under the same convention."

Conventions for wearing a relatives' medals include:

• Civilian members of the public should only wear one set of medals. The medals should be those of a direct relative, 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 acceptable to wear a family member’s miniature medals mounted on a medal bar if preferred.

• 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 wearing of relatives' medals is permitted on Anzac Day (25 April) and Remembrance Day (11 November). In addition, it may be appropriate for next-of-kin and other relatives to wear relatives' 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.

"On Anzac Day 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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Gallantry Awards Announced

20 April 2013

The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration (NZGD) obverse view The New Zealand Gallantry Medal (NZGM) obverse view

Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to approve New Zealand Gallantry Awards to the following three New Zealand Defence Force personnel for their service in Afghanistan:

The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration to Lance Corporal Leon Kristopher SMITH (T1002840), 1 New Zealand Special Air Service Group (Deceased);

The New Zealand Gallantry Medal to Squadron Leader (then Flight Lieutenant) Benjamin Mark PRYOR (R1001757), Royal New Zealand Air Force; and

The New Zealand Gallantry Medal to Staff Sergeant (then Acting Warrant Officer Class Two) Dean Maurice RENNIE (D993143), Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own) (Retired).

Related news item:

5 November 2013 - Gallantry Award for Auckland Air Force Pilot

1 October 2011 - Defence Force personnel receive awards for gallantry

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Over 49,000 NZ Defence Service Medals issued so far

5 March 2013

As at 5 March 2013, more than 39,500 NZ Defence Service Medals have been issued to ex-Service persons. In addition, more than 9,500 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.

How to apply online for the NZ Defence Service Medal

Note 1: Living ex-Service persons can apply online (just click on the How to Apply Online button above) or can complete and submit a paper application form. If you are able to, please fill in the online version of the application form instead of a paper form. This will assist the processing of your application.

Information for NZDF civilian employees who are former Service persons: The online application form is not mirrored on the NZDF intranet. You will need be apply online from an internet capable computer.

Note 2: Families of deceased ex-Service persons should not fill in the online form because you will need to apply in writing due to the requirement to submit a Statutory Declaration (witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, Solicitor, or Officer duly authorised to take Statutory Declarations) stating that you have the greatest legal entitlement to be issued with your relative's medal, and providing copies of relevant documentation to prove this.

The full instructions are in the Application form on behalf of another person for the award of New Zealand Defence Service Medal - (pdf format 204 kb).

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Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

4 March 2013

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group received 68 submissions on service in South-East Asia. After considering the submissions, the Joint Working Group submitted an interim report to the Minister of Defence in November 2011.

The Joint Working Group is currently undertaking further archival research and will then finalise its report and recommendations. The Joint Working Group expects to present its final report to the Government in April 2013.

The Government's decisions on the recommendations from the Joint Working Group will be widely publicised, including in the RSA Review and on the Breaking News page of the NZDF Medals website.

For further information see the South-East Asia review page of our website.

Related news items:

30 May 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

12 July 2011 - Consultation begins on medals for military service in South-East Asia 1950 to 2011

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Recognition for the 2011 Canterbury Earthquake Rescue and Recovery Operations

12 February 2013

Since the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes the government has given considerable thought to the ways in which those who participated in the rescue and recovery efforts might be recognised. The government would like to recognise, through the existing Honours system, those individuals who played a significant role in the rescue and recovery efforts and those who displayed intensive and sustained leadership. Acts of bravery will be recognised with New Zealand Bravery Awards. The government is also encouraging agencies to proceed with their own forms of internal recognition.

On 26 June 2012, the Commissioner of Police announced that a “2011 Canterbury Earthquake Citation” will acknowledge approximately 3,200 members of the NZ Police who worked in or were deployed to Christchurch during the state of emergency period of 22 February to 30 April 2011. The Citation will be worn by Police personnel as a dress distinction on the right side of their uniform.

NZDF will not be introducing a Citation to recognise NZDF personnel who were in Christchurch during the state of emergency. While NZDF personnel were on the ground in the affected areas, many others supported the rescue efforts in various ways; by manning and maintaining the ships and aircraft delivering aid materials, by working in kitchens and medical facilities, and by performing additional duties covering for those who had been deployed on earthquake support tasks. It could be argued that all members of the NZDF contributed in some way to the Canterbury relief effort, and as such it is inappropriate to recognise only those who were physically in Christchurch during the state of emergency.

Some NZDF personnel may receive a Police Citation in recognition of their work with the Police in the affected area. If they are also a member of the Police they may wear the Citation on that uniform, however the Citation is not to be worn on NZDF uniform. The same conditions apply to any similar forms of recognition that might be issued in the future by other agencies present in Christchurch, such as the Order of St John and the New Zealand Fire Service. This decision is consistent with the NZDF policy of only military or whole-of-government citations being given permission to be worn on NZDF uniform.

I again take this opportunity to thank all personnel of the NZDF - military, civilian or contractors - who contributed to rescue and recovery efforts in Canterbury.

Lieutenant General Rhys Jones

Chief of Defence Force

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NZDF personnel named in New Year Honours list

7 January 2013

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

The recipients of the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) are:

Lance Corporal Anatoliy Valerievich Derepa, Royal New Zealand Dental Corps

Lance Corporal (LCPL) Derepa was sent to Christchurch following the February 2011 earthquakes as part of the initial Police led Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) Response Team. In the mortuary he worked in an emotionally stressful and intellectually complex and demanding environment as a forensic dental assistant. Here he combined his practical skills as a Dental Technician, knowledge of information technology, and initiative, to provide critical support to all groups within the DVI team. In particular, he established the IT systems that enabled the work of identifying earthquake victims to proceed without delay; he developed the operating procedures for forensic radiography, and adapted dental tools that greatly enhanced the quality of radiographic results. His ability to grasp the requirements of the specialists with whom he was working and develop innovative technical solutions to meet them, meant that he was held in high esteem by DVI team members across a wide range of disciplines. Lance Corporal Derepa displayed innovation and competence well above his rank and made an outstanding contribution to the identification of earthquake victims.

Group Captain Athol James Forrest, MNZM, Royal New Zealand Air Force

Group Captain (GPCAPT) Forrest currently holds a unique position as the first New Zealand Defence Force officer posted to the role of Deputy Chief of Staff to the Headquarters Papua New Guinea (PNG) Defence force in Port Moresby. Since October 2009 he has worked closely with Brigadier Francis Agwi, Chief of the PNG Defence Force, providing policy advice and coordinating the work of the Defence Headquarters, which included the challenging task of preparing the PNG Defence White Paper, as well as project plans and budgets. His appointment has coincided with a tumultuous period of contested political leadership that has created rifts in Papua New Guinean society and placed its Defence Force under considerable pressure. As a direct result of the counsel he provided to Brigadier Agwi, the PNG Defence Force did not take sides during many constitutional challenges taking place, especially at the end of 2011. As a consequence, the PNG Defence Force was able to provide a stabilising influence within the country.

GPCAPT Forrest was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the New Year Honours 1998.

Lieutenant Arthur Jordan Gale, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

Lieutenant (LT) Gale served with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, from March to September 2011. On two occasions while operating in the highest risk area in the north-east of the province, his patrol was attacked by insurgents using improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In the first attack on 28 April, his vehicle was immobilized by an IED blast, while the remainder of the patrol’s vehicles came under attack from rocket propelled grenades. Through excellent leadership and tactical skill he gained control of the situation, calling in close air support that disrupted the attack. He then linked up with another patrol to secure the area and recover the damaged vehicle without sustaining any casualties. In the second attack on 18 July, a large IED exploded and narrowly missed destroying a patrol vehicle. Again, through his tactical skill, he was able to secure the area overnight and a later search of the surrounding area yielded valuable information on insurgent activities. In September, he led a patrol search at the scene of a fatal attack against an Afghan Police patrol, discovering an IED that had been hidden by insurgents for future use, as well as valuable information on their tactics. Throughout his tour, Lieutenant Gale displayed outstanding leadership and tactical skill while operating under stressful conditions in the most dangerous area of the province.

Major Shane Ruane, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

When an earthquake struck Christchurch on 22 February 2011, Major (MAJ) Ruane was sent to the city as Civil Defence Liaison Officer. As the crisis unfolded he was re-assigned as the Liaison Officer to the Mayor of Christchurch, a position he held for five weeks. In this role, he displayed outstanding diligence and devotion to duty, working extremely long hours and without respite, supporting the work of the Mayor and his team by providing links to Civil Defence, Police, Fire Service and other agencies, as they dealt with the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. He was then re-assigned to command the New Zealand Defence Force Security and Cordon Reduction Planning Cell. In this role he worked with and co-ordinated the activities of a number of agencies to develop civil defence multi-agency action plans for the reduction of the central city cordon, as well as introducing a cordon access policy that became the focal point for the entire security operation around the Christchurch CBD. Throughout the weeks that he was involved in these operations, Major Ruane was a key NZDF representative who played an important and leading role in coordinating the activities of all the agencies that dealt with the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.

Lieutenant Colonel Brett Lockwood Wellington, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

Lieutenant Colonel (LT COL) Wellington served as the Senior Military Advisor with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, from August 2011 to April 2012, and commanded the 129 New Zealand personnel in the PRT. He consistently demonstrated sound professional judgement and the tactics adopted under his leadership helped ensure that the PRT was able to sustain effective operations in those parts of the province that were under the greatest threat. They also disrupted the insurgent networks and reduced their ability to mount attacks or threaten the local population. He devoted considerable time to the implementation of a plan to transition responsibility for the security of the province to Afghan Security Forces and to withdraw the PRT from Afghanistan. Under his energetic guidance, an Afghan National Police Quick Reaction Force was formed, trained to a high standard and deployed on operations. It now provides local security forces with greater capacity to resist insurgent threats. The commendable performance of the PRT during this period and the fact that Bamyan Province remained one of the more secure parts of Afghanistan, was due in no small part to the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Wellington.

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 statements:

29 May 2013 - North Shore Army officer decorated for service in Afghanistan

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

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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.

How to apply online for the NZ Defence Service Medal

Note 1: Living ex-Service persons can apply online (just click on the How to Apply Online button above) or can complete and submit a paper application form. If you are able to, please fill in the online version of the application form instead of a paper form. This will assist the processing of your application.

Information for NZDF civilian employees who are former Service persons: The online application form is not mirrored on the NZDF intranet. You will need be apply online from an internet capable computer.

Note 2: Families of deceased ex-Service persons should not fill in the online form because you will need to apply in writing due to the requirement to submit a Statutory Declaration (witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, Solicitor, or Officer duly authorised to take Statutory Declarations) stating that you have the greatest legal entitlement to be issued with your relative's medal, and providing copies of relevant documentation to prove this.

The full instructions are in the Application form on behalf of another person for the award of New Zealand Defence Service Medal - (pdf format 204 kb).

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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. For more photos of the recent investiture ceremonies see http://www.gg.govt.nz/honours/index.htm - The Governor-General of New Zealand's website.

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 online using the form on the NZ Defence Force Medals website”. [See Notes 1 and 2, below]

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.

How to apply online for the NZ Defence Service Medal

Note 1: Living ex-Service persons can apply online (just click on the How to Apply Online button above) or can complete and submit a paper application form. If you are able to, please fill in the online version of the application form instead of a paper form. This will assist the processing of your application.

Information for NZDF civilian employees who are former Service persons: The online application form is not mirrored on the NZDF intranet. You will need be apply online from an internet capable computer.

Note 2: Families of deceased ex-Service persons should not fill in the online form because you will need to apply in writing due to the requirement to submit a Statutory Declaration (witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, Solicitor, or Officer duly authorised to take Statutory Declarations) stating that you have the greatest legal entitlement to be issued with your relative's medal, and providing copies of relevant documentation to prove this.

The full instructions are in the Application form on behalf of another person for the award of New Zealand Defence Service Medal - (pdf format 204 kb).

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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.

How to apply online for the NZ Defence Service Medal

Applying for the NZDSM online (for living ex-Service persons only). Just click on the How to Apply Online button above.

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.

How to apply online for the NZ Defence Service Medal

Applying for the NZDSM online. Just click on the How to Apply Online button above.

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.

How to apply online for the NZ Defence Service Medal

Applying for the NZDSM online. Just click on the How to Apply Online button above.

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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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2011 News Items

Over 18,000 NZDSMs issued

21 December 2011

Since April 2011 more than 18,000 New Zealand Defence Service Medals (NZDSM) have been issued. Over 17,000 have been sent to ex-Service persons and more than 1,200 to current NZDF military personnel. Of the ex-Service persons, over 5,300 have been issued with the CMT clasp, over 1,300 with the National Service clasp, more than 7,900 with the Regular Force clasp, and over 1,100 issued the Territorial clasp for Territorial / Reserve service. In addition, over 1,500 ex-Service persons have been issued the NZDSM with more than one clasp 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.

NZDF is currently accepting applications for the NZDSM from ex-Service persons age 50 or over.

In November there have been locally organised presentations throughout New Zealand, including in Alexandra, Dunedin, Masterton, Napier, Takaka, Taradale, Waipawa and Wellington (Johnsonville). For the local media coverage of some of these events click on the links below (which go to the article on the relevant newspaper's website):

http://www.odt.co.nz/regions/central-otago/189251/military-medals-presented

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/187454/services-welcome-escape-office

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/187132/obligation-completed

Medals for ex-Service personnel are couriered by the Defence Force to the home address of the applicant. Ex-Service personnel who have received the NZDSM and would like the medal presented to them formally can contact their nearest RSA or ex-Service persons' organisation, as many RSAs and ex-Service persons' organisations are arranging presentations in local communities. The family, peers and friends of recipients are very welcome to attend these presentations.

How to apply online for the NZ Defence Service Medal

Applying for the NZDSM online. Just click on the How to Apply Online button above.

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

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Gallantry awards richly deserved by NZ soldiers

6 December 2011

Gallantry awards being presented today highlight the courage and professionalism of New Zealand forces serving in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said today.

“The three New Zealand soldiers have shown the highest level of bravery in the face of danger,” said Dr Mapp.

The three men were in a vehicle patrol attacked by insurgents in Afghanistan in August 2010. Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell was killed in the attack.

“Corporal Albert Moore, Lance Corporal Allister Baker and Corporal Matthew Ball acted quickly and decisively to prevent any further loss of life.”

The New Zealand gallantry awards were introduced in 1999. There are four levels of award - the Victoria Cross for New Zealand, the New Zealand Gallantry Star, the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration, and the New Zealand Gallantry Medal.

“These are the highest honours for New Zealand service personnel,” said Dr Mapp. “All New Zealanders can be proud of these three soldiers.”

These four awards replaced some 20 British medals. The Gallantry Star – being awarded today to Corporal Albert Moore – replaced the Distinguished Service Order, the Distinguished Conduct Medal, and the Conspicuous Gallantry Medals (naval and flying).

The Gallantry Decoration – being awarded to Lance Corporal Allister Baker and Corporal Matthew Ball – replaced the Military Cross and the Military Medal for the Army, and similar level decorations for the other services.

Related media statement:

1 October 2011 - Defence Force personnel receive awards for gallantry

Further information:

Full information on these gallantry awards, including the citations, are on the 1 October 2011 Gallantry Awards pages of the NZ Army website.

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New Zealand Defence Force personnel receive United States medals

15 November 2011

Major General Talleri presents the Meritorious Service Medal to Group Captain Greg Elliott who served as Commander of the NZPRT from April to October 2009

Caption: Major General Talleri (right) presents the Meritorious Service Medal to Group Captain Greg Elliott (left) who served as Commander of the NZPRT from April to October 2009.

NZDF Media release

The service of 25 New Zealand Defence Force personnel who have served in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom was recognised today in a special United States medal presentation in Wellington.

US Marine Corps Major General Peter Talleri presented a Bronze Star, nine Meritorious Service medals and 15 Army Commendation medals to 25 NZ Defence Force personnel.

At the presentation Major General Talleri said, “The accomplishments of your Defence Force in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan are quite impressive. I’ve had the opportunity to read some of your award citations that you will be presented with today and I am truly humbled by the selfless acts and sacrifices that you have accomplished.”

Among the recipients were 11 NZ Defence Force personnel who served with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan.

Group Captain Greg Elliott and Air Commodore Steve Moore who served as Commanders of the NZPRT in 2009 and 2006 respectively were both awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. Both men were recognised for their outstanding leadership, dedication, and the numerous accomplishments of their PRT teams.

Captain Stuart Beckman was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. His citation states that he demonstrated exceptional courage and bravery while conducting and supervising counter Improvised Explosive Device operations in a high threat environment under constant danger.

Among the recipients were also personnel who served as part of the National Support Element in Bagram, and personnel attached to the coalition training team for the Afghan National Army as well as NZ Policemen who are also Territorials, Major Grant Arrowsmith and Warrant Officer Colin Murphy, who were awarded the Army Commendation Medal for their work in Afghanistan in 2009.

Special permission had to be granted by the Governor-General for the defence personnel to wear the US medals on their uniform.

This is the second time US medals have been awarded to NZ Defence Force personnel since Vietnam. The first was in 2006 when US Ambassador William McCormick presented the United States Bronze Star Medal to ten NZ Defence Force personnel and the United States Army Commendation Medal to seven NZ Defence Force personnel at a ceremony held at the American Embassy.

Further US Award presentations will be made to 11 recipients who were not able to attend the presentation today who are either serving in Afghanistan, Timor Leste or at sea on duty.

The Bronze Star was instituted in 1944 and is awarded for the performance of heroic or meritorious acts. The United States Meritorious Service Medal was instituted in 1945 and is awarded for non-combat meritorious achievement or meritorious service. The United States Army Commendation Medal was instituted in 1945 and is awarded for acts of achievement or meritorious service. All the awards made to New Zealanders for service in Afghanistan are for meritorious service.

United States Bronze Star (obverse view) United States Army Commendation Medal (obverse view)

Captions: Left: United States Bronze Star (obverse view); Right: United States Army Commendation Medal (obverse view)

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New medal now available for those fifty and over

18 October 2011

Ex-Service personnel aged 50 and over can now apply for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM).

Until recently the New Zealand Defence Force’s Medals Office was accepting applications for the NZDSM from ex-Service personnel aged 60 or over. Since April, when the first applications were called for, over 17,700 applications have been received by the Medals Office and over 13,000 medals have been issued.

Due to the large number of people eligible for the NZDSM, the call for applications is being managed in four stages, with priority given to processing applications from older living ex-Service personnel first.

The new medal 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.

“The medal recognises attested military service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders. Those who have served in the military for three years or more since the end of World War Two, and those who completed their compulsory military training or national military service obligations, qualify,” Assistant Chief of Personnel Commodore Kevin Keat said.

“Personnel with three years accumulated service, for example, between Regular, K Force, J Force and Territorial service (including RNZNR and RNZNVR) are also eligible for the medal.”

Ex-Service personnel are encouraged to apply for the medal using the online form on the NZDF Medals website.

Just click on the How to Apply Online button below.

How to apply online for the NZ Defence Service Medal

Hard copies of the application form are also available through the website and at most local RSAs, which can provide staff to help ex-Service personnel fill in their applications if necessary.

CDRE Keat said, “We have set up a helpline for people with questions about the NZDSM, which is available during business hours. If you require assistance please call 0800 334 772.” (select Option 2).

Ex-Service personnel who have received the NZDSM and would like the medal presented to them formally can contact their nearest RSA, as many RSAs are arranging presentations in local communities.

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Applying for the NZDSM online. Just click on the How to Apply Online button above.

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

Related media statements and updates:

 

17 August 2011 - Sixty year olds can now apply for new medal

15 April 2011 - Applications open for New NZ Defence Service Medal

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Defence Force personnel receive awards for gallantry

1 October 2011

Today is a significant day for four NZ Defence Force personnel, who have been awarded Gallantry Awards for their courageous actions while deployed to Afghanistan.

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones says the decorations which rank among the highest decorations presented to NZ service men and women, acknowledge the courageous acts shown by these soldiers.

Corporal Albie Moore will be awarded the NZ Gallantry Star for gallantry shown in the IED contact resulting in the unfortunate death of LT Tim O’Donnell. Corporal Matt Ball and Lance Corporal Allister Baker will be awarded the NZ Gallantry Decoration for their actions during the same incident.

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones says "Our personnel are expected to operate in dangerous and volatile situations, and this incident was no exception. By extricating themselves from a complex attack and recovering vital equipment under fire, these men have demonstrated extreme courage in the face of a determined enemy".

"I am extremely proud of the manner in which they conducted themselves, not only during the contact, but also the way in which they have handled the intense scrutiny since returning to NZ".

Warrant Officer Denis Wanihi is to receive the NZ Gallantry Medal for his work in Afghanistan during 2010, where he was employed in a supervisory role dealing with and responding to Improved Explosive Devices (IED) and Explosive Ordnance Devices (EOD).

Warrant Officer Wanihi is currently deployed to Afghanistan and the Chief of Army, Major General Tim Keating acknowledged the commitment shown by WO2 Wanihi in returning to Afghanistan.

"The fact that Warrant Officer Wanihi has returned to a high threat environment is indicative of the levels of commitment that our soldiers and their families demonstrate, and I am proud that we have such individuals in our organisation".

"Much of the good work our soldiers do is because of the support they receive from their families and colleagues, and it is important that we recognise their efforts in providing that support".

The Gallantry Awards will be presented by the Governor General at a later date.

Further information
Full information on these gallantry awards are included in the citations for these awards:

The New Zealand Gallantry Star to Corporal Albert Henry MOORE (B1012323), Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration to Lance Corporal Allister Donald BAKER (Q1018707), Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.

The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration to Corporal Matthew John BALL (X1015655), Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals.

The New Zealand Gallantry Medal to Warrant Officer Class Two Denis Joachim WANIHI (D771492), Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York's Own)

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Chief of Army comments on theft of medals from the Army Museum

2 September 2011

Chief of Army Major General Tim Keating issued a video statement on the arrest of Keith Davies, commenting that the theft of medals from the museum strikes at the heart of Army's core values and is an affront to the New Zealand public.

A transcript of the video

Yesterday a former member of the Territorial Forces and staff member from the Army Museum was arrested and charged with offences relating to the theft of medals from the Army Museum.

I would personally like to thank the New Zealand Police Force for their tremendous efforts in bringing the case to this point. I will ensure that Army continues to support the endeavours of the Police as we close the case and ensure that we have learned lessons from this event.

The theft of the medals is deeply disturbing. The nature of this offence attacks our core values. We inherently trust our people and by extension the NZ public has trust in the New Zealand Army. The theft of these medals is also an affront to the history of New Zealand and the Army people that were involved in making that history. Every medal placed in trust to the museum is significant to the New Zealand community at large, the Army family and to the families of those recipients whose medals have been donated to the museum.

While I don't want to say anything that'll prejudice the case that is before the courts, what I want to make clear is that these events occurred nine years ago. New Zealanders will be upset by these events and rightfully should be so. But what they'll want to know from us is that we have put practises in place that address the issues that have occurred as a result of this arrest. I can assure the public that every measure possible has now been put in place by the staff off the museum and the Museum Trust Board that we are working closely with to ensure that this type of event does not occur in the future.

I have great faith in the museum staff team lead by Col (Rtd) Ray Seymour. They have been working tirelessly in the past few years where they have been running this museum to ensure that best practice, modern practises are in place to guard our treasures, our collection which is part of our army family history and part of the New Zealand heritage that we are safeguarding for the nation.

Background

On Wednesday 31 August, Keith Davies, former staff member at the Army Museum and 26-year Territorial Forces veteran was charged with the theft of medals from the museum, obtaining property by deception, false accounting and unlawfully exporting NZ antiquities.

Davies, a resident of Australia, was arrested upon his arrival back in New Zealand. He was remanded on bail and will appear in court on 22 September.

While the year-long police investigation was underway the NZ Defence Force could not inform families of what had occurred.

The Defence Force can now disclose that 395 medal sets comprising 843 individual medals were stolen from the museum between 1995 and 2002. The museum's entire collection of more than 500,000 items includes more than 11,000 medals.

Since the thefts occurred, a new team, led by Director Col (Rtd) Ray Seymour has been put in place. All possible measures have been taken since the discovery of the thefts to guard against it happening again and the Defence Force will continue to work with the Museum Trust Board on this matter.

As many of the stolen medals were donated to the museum over 20 years ago the recorded contact details are out of date; accordingly, if you have not been contacted by the end of September and you have any concerns about any medals donated to the museum, please visit the Museum's website at www.armymuseum.co.nz to make an inquiry. Staff at the Museum will respond to your request accordingly and will confirm whether your donations form part of the Police investigation.

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SIXTY YEAR OLDS CAN NOW APPLY FOR NEW MEDAL

17 August 2011

Applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) have now opened for ex-Service personnel who are 60 years of age and over.

Until today the New Zealand Defence Force’s Medals Office was accepting applications for the NZDSM only from ex-Service personnel aged 70 or over. Since April, when the first applications were called for, over 12,000 applications have been received by the Medals Office and over 8,000 medals have been issued.

Due to the large number of people eligible for the NZDSM, the call for applications is being managed in four stages, with priority given to processing applications from the oldest living ex-Service personnel first.

The new medal, which was announced by the Prime Minister last year, 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.

“The medal recognises attested military service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders. Those who have served in the military for three years or more since the end of World War Two, and those who completed their compulsory military training or national military service obligations, qualify,” Assistant Chief of Personnel Commodore Kevin Keat said.

“Personnel with three years accumulated service, for example, between Regular, K Force, J Force and Territorial service (including RNZNR and RNZNVR) are also eligible for the medal.”

Ex-Service personnel are encouraged to apply for the medal using the online form on the NZDF Medals website.

Just click on the How to Apply Online button below.

How to apply online for the NZ Defence Service Medal

 

Hard copies of the application form are also available through the website and at most local RSAs who can provide staff to help ex-Service personnel fill in their applications.

CDRE Keat said, “We have set up a helpline for people with questions about the NZDSM, which is available during business hours. If you require assistance please call 0800 334 772.” (select Option 2).

In April an inaugural presentation was made to 34 medal recipients. Since then a number of presentations have been made at RSA Clubrooms throughout the country.

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Applying for the NZDSM online. Just click on the How to Apply Online button above.

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

Related media statements:

18 October 2011 - New medal now available for those fifty and over

15 April 2011 - Applications open for New NZ Defence Service Medal

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Wellington Naval Reservists service in Sudan and Solomons recognised in medal awards

25 July 2011

Photo Caption CIMG1157.jpg: Lieutenant Commander Ian Wells, on deployment in Sudan

Caption: CIMG1157.jpg: Lt Cdr Ian Wells, on deployment in Sudan.

NZDF Media release

A Navy Reserve Officer who served as a UN Military Observer to the Southern Sudan and a Navy Reserve Chaplain who deployed to the Solomon Islands were among a group of reserve personnel decorated for their service this week.

Deputy Chief of Navy Commodore Wayne Burroughs MNZM, presented the New Zealand Operational Service Medal and the United Nations Mission in Sudan Medal was presented to Lieutenant Commander Ian Wells, VRD RNZNVR for service in Sudan, and the Volunteer Reserve Decoration to Chaplain R.W. Peters ED RNZNVR (Rtd).

Clasps to the RNZNVR Long Service and Good Conduct Medal were also presented by Commodore Burroughs to Warrant Officer Trevor Lapham and Chief Petty Officer Robbie Grant, recognising both of their 10 years further qualifying service in the Royal New Zealand Naval Reserve.

Lieutenant Commander Wells was posted as a UN Military Observer to Yambio Province in Southern Sudan from September 2010 to March 2011, and for a period was the acting Team Site Leader during that posting. He was the first New Zealander to be appointed in that role, which was also during the difficult time of Southern Sudan's Referendum for self determination.

Chaplain Bob Peters, was also recently awarded the NZ Operational Service Medal for his deployment to the Solomon Islands, is believed to have achieved the rare distinction of being the first chaplain to be awarded both the Efficiency Decoration for his prior service in the Territorial Army, as well as the Volunteer Reserve Decoration awarded for his further 15 years service with the Naval Reserve.

In his address at the ceremony, Commodore Burroughs commended the high level of commitment and dedication of the medal recipients for their service that qualified them for their awards, and also specially commended their families and employers, without such support their Defence Force service would not have been possible.

Note: The Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNZNVR) is an integral part of the Royal New Zealand Navy, with ten percent of the Navy's personnel strength are Naval Reservists. While Naval Reserve personnel mainly train for Sea Service and Maritime Trade Operations, they also serve in a variety of roles in support of NZ Defence Force current operations overseas and in New Zealand, including the NZ Defence Force recent Operation Canterbury Quake Disaster Relief operations.

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Consultation begins on medals for military service in South-East Asia 1950 to 2011

12 July 2011

The Government has directed a Joint Working Group to review medallic recognition for military service in South-East Asia from 1950 to the current day. The public consultation phase of this review started today.

Many military personnel who served in South-East Asia from 1950 onwards did not receive operational service medals, especially for service in Malaysia and Singapore after 1965. This was due to decisions at the time that the level of military threat to the deployed personnel was too low to justify the award of a medal.

“A Government project is now underway to establish whether any grounds exist for overturning previous decisions on this matter. Former and current military personnel will now have the opportunity to comment on the appropriate medallic recognition for their service in South-East Asia,” said the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones.

“This review is part of the Government’s commitment to ensure military personnel receive suitable recognition for their service,” he said.

The Joint Working Group is chaired by former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade Neil Walter. It includes representatives from the Defence Force, the RNZRSA, Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand and an observer from the Honours Unit, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Public consultation closes on Tuesday 23 August 2011, and the working group expects to report back to the Government by 31 October 2011. The consultation documents will be distributed via the RNZRSA Affiliates network, and can also be viewed and downloaded from the South-East Asia review page of the New Zealand Defence Force Medals website.

Note: Hard copies of the South-East Asia consultation documents can be obtained by phoning 04 498 6827, contacting us through our website contact form (select 'Medals Policy' as the topic) or writing to the Deputy Director Medals Policy, Defence Personnel Executive, Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force, Private Bag 39997, Wellington 5045.

How do I make a submission?

1. Please carefully read the three documents which can be downloaded from the South-East Asia review page of our website.

2. Then submissions (with supporting evidence and a completed Checklist for Submissions) can be e-mailed to medals.admp@nzdf.mil.nz ; or posted to:

Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group
c/- Deputy Director Medals Policy
Defence Personnel Executive
Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force
Private Bag 39997
WELLINGTON 5045

Once the Government has made decisions on the recommendations from the Joint Working Group these be widely publicised, including in the RSA Review and on the Breaking News page of the NZDF Medals Website.

UPDATE 24 August 2011: Submissions have now closed.

UPDATE 4 March 2013: Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

UPDATE 30 May 2013: Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

UPDATE 23 September 2013: Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

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Defence personnel named in Queen's Birthday Honours

4 June 2011

Three New Zealand Defence Force personnel have been named in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours. The recipients are as follows:

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

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher PARSONS
The New Zealand Special Air Service
Based at Papakura

Warrant Officer Class One Ian PONSE
Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment
Based at Linton

Acting Warrant Officer Darren SMITH
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Based at Ohakea.

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.

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UPDATE on the Review of Long Service Awards

3 June 2011

Good progress is being made on the Review of Long Service Awards in the New Zealand Armed Forces with Phase One (Principles for the Medallic Recognition of Long Service in the New Zealand Armed Forces) being approved by the Minister of Defence in April 2011.

These Principles listed below will guide the work underway in Phase Two of the Long Service Awards Review, where the focus is on resolving as many of the existing grievances as is practical. This work aims to be as compliant as is practical with these Principles. The primary driver behind the recommendations in Phase Two is that no-one will be worse off. In most cases they will be better off, in the balance of cases, they will remain in much the same position as they are now.

Phase Two will act as a transition period towards Phase Three where decisions will be made on what form the future Long Service medallic recognition in the New Zealand Defence Force will take.

The Phase Three award or awards will be fully compliant with the Approved Principles below.

See the Latest updates on the Long Service Awards Review for further updates as Phase Two progresses.

Approved Principles for the Medallic Recognition of Long Service in the New Zealand Armed Forces

Introduction

These principles, approved by the Minister of Defence in April 2011, are the foundation for a seamless whole of military career personnel policy in relation to medallic recognition of long and efficient service, and good conduct.  All seven principles apply to any award(s) instituted for military long service from 2012.

Principles

Principle 1. All Regular and Territorial members of the Armed Forces of New Zealand, as defined in the Defence Act 1990, who serve for the required period and have a record of irreproachable conduct and character, are to be recognised by a long service and good conduct award, governed by a New Zealand Royal Warrant.

Principle 2. Generally, only service in the Armed Forces of New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom is considered eligible service.

Principle 3.  The qualifying service for any award is to include all military service undertaken by an individual whose conduct and character have been irreproachable during the qualifying period.

Principle 4.  The design of any new long service award is to be tri-Service in nature.

Principle 5.   Any award is to be egalitarian.

Principle 6.  The length of qualifying service for an award, and clasps to an award, should be the same as that required for other long service awards approved by the Sovereign for public sector organisations in New Zealand that is, NZ Police, NZ Fire Service, NZ Prison Service and NZ Customs Service.

Principle 7.   An award may be annulled, forfeited and restored.

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Heroic Regiment receives Korean citation

26 May 2011

The presentation of the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation to veterans of 16 Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery, will ensure the bravery shown by the unit during the Korean War is not forgotten, Veterans’ Affairs Minister Judith Collins said today.

The Hon Sung Choon Park, the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Patriots and Veterans' Affairs, today personally presented the unit citation insignia to each of the veterans in attendance at Linton Military Camp.

He also presented a copy of the citation to Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Boggs, Commanding Officer of 16 Field Regiment. The citation recognised the regiment’s service and heroism between December 1950 and November 1951 during the Korean War.

“The Regiment had a prominent role in the Battle of Kap’yong in April 1951, when the gunners fired more than 10,000 rounds as part of the provision of fire support for units in the 27th Commonwealth Brigade. They achieved this while being under heavy fire from the enemy,” Ms Collins said.

“Currently-serving personnel of 16 Field Regiment will also be able to wear the insignia, which ensures that the heroism and bravery shown by the regiment during the Korean War will not be forgotten.”

Ms Collins also held bilateral discussions with Minister Park at Linton Camp.

“New Zealand and the Republic of Korea have a special relationship that began on the battlefield more than 60 years ago,” Ms Collins said.

“Minister Park has personally travelled to New Zealand to present the citation to the Regiment, which is a sign of the close relationship that has developed between our two countries.”

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UPDATE - NZ Defence Service Medal

25 May 2011

In mid April the first New Zealand Defence Service Medals (NZDSM) were presented to 34 recipients (selected from various eligible category groups representing service cohorts since 1945) at a ceremony at the Grand Hall, Parliament. Ministers presenting the medals were Hon Dr Wayne Mapp, Minister of Defence and Hon Judith Collins, Minister of Veterans’ Affairs.  

Since then, the New Zealand Defence Force’s Medals Office has received over 6,000 applications - around 200 per day. By 20 May 1,560 medals had been issued and they are going out on a daily rota.

The NZDSM recognises attested military service since 3 September 1945. The medal is tangible medallic recognition for those who have served in the Regular and/or Territorial military forces for three years or more since the end of the Second World War, including those who did Compulsory Military Training (CMT) or Balloted National Service. Eligibility criteria is explained fully in our FAQs about the NZDSM.

The call centre tasked with answering queries about the NZDSM has received numerous calls about the medal. Some of the more frequently asked questions are answered below. For a full list of FAQs about the NZDSM click here.

How can I apply for the medal?
It is recommended that people apply online if possible as this is the fastest way to process the applications. The online form can be found under Applying for the NZ Defence Service Medal.

Hard copy (paper) application forms are available here or from your local RSA.
If you have any questions about filling in the form, please call the NZ Defence Force Service Centre on 0800 334 772 (select Option 2).

I’m 64, so why do I have to wait to apply?
Around 160,000 personnel qualify for the NZDSM so this is the largest medal issue project since the Second World War medals were issued in the early 1950s. With such high numbers a priority programme is necessary and the Minister of Defence has directed that the priority will be:

  1. Those living ex-service personnel over the age of 70
  2. Those living ex-service personnel over the age of 60
  3. Then all other living ex-service personnel.

Update 26 July 2012: Defence Service Medal now available to all ex-Service personnel

Update 18 October 2011: New medal now available for those fifty and over

Update 17 August 2011: Sixty year olds can now apply for new medal

Please note: Applications from those in other age groups and from the next-of-kin of deceased ex-Service persons will be called for progressively over the next year or so.

Can I get one early if my family member is terminally ill?
Ex-Service personnel who are genuinely terminally ill and are eligible for the medal will be given priority over all other applicants but the family still need to submit an application form either online or hard copy.

How long is it going to take for me to receive my medal?
The Defence Force is expecting more than 100,000 applications for the medal in the first three years of the project to issue the medal. This means that applications will need to be prioritised throughout the initial award programme.

All applications will be processed as fast as possible and medals will be courier delivered to the recipient’s home address in a presentation case. Each case includes an engraved full size medal and a miniature medal mounted ready for wear.

I want to apply for my late relative’s medal, how can I do this?
Families of deceased ex-Service personnel will be invited to apply for their late relations (husband/father/mother etc) medal entitlement after the processing of the initial applications from older living ex-Service personnel is well underway. This is likely to occur in early 2012.

What are the rules about public ‘Medal ceremonies’ in our community?
Regional medal presentations are being arranged around the country by local RSAs, a wide range of Community and Regimental Associations, whanau on local marae and family gatherings. Local MPs and Mayors are being encouraged to support these events where possible. Who presents these medals is less important than the community and family recognition of the recipients’ loyal attested service to New Zealand. In answer to many questions, you do not require NZDF permission or a NZDF uniformed officer to present medals for the ceremony you are arranging. You are encouraged to use any community or organisation VIP as the awarding officer.

About the New Zealand Defence Service Medal

The obverse (front) of the NZDSM has the New Zealand Coat of Arms, the symbol of the Crown and Executive Arm of Government. The reverse (REAR) side has the fern, plus the emblems of the Navy, Army and Air Force - the Naval crown, crossed swords and eagle. These are the main elements of the Badge of the New Zealand Defence Force. The two fern fronds which normally form part of the Badge of the New Zealand Defence Force have been omitted to avoid the inference that all recipients served in the NZ Defence Force. Many of the recipients will have served in the armed forces prior to the formation of the NZ Defence Force.

The medal ribbon reflects the colours of the Navy, Army and Air Force as dark blue, red and light blue respectively. Light green stripes have been added to represent the volunteer Territorial and Reserve elements of the Services.

The Royal Warrant for the NZDSM allows for one or more clasps to be awarded with the medal. The number of clasps awarded to an individual will be determined by the type(s) of military service undertaken. There are four clasps which can be awarded with the NZDSM: REGULAR; TERRITORIAL; C.M.T.; and NATIONAL SERVICE. The Regulations for this medal has been approved by the Governor-General and a copy is posted under ‘Quick Links’ for your reference. Please direct any queries on the Royal Warrant or Medal Regulations to the Medals Policy Cell, DPE, HQ NZDF, Private Bag 39997, Wellington, or contact us via our electronic contact form.

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Applications flood in for NZ Defence Service Medal

3 May 2011

Over 2,500 applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) have been received by the New Zealand Defence Force’s Medals Office in the three weeks since applications opened.

NZDF Archives Manager Matthew Buck said, “Currently we are processing applications from ex-Service personnel over 70 years of age and are receiving over 200 applications a day. We ask those who have sent in their forms to be patient.

“We are making excellent progress with the project, however it will take at least three years to work through the 100,000 applications we are expecting.”

The new medal closes a long-standing gap and recognises the unique requirements of military service. Ex Service personnel 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. Personnel with three years accumulated service, for example between Regular, K Force, J Force and Territorial service (including RNZNR and RNZNVR) are eligible for the medal.

“We encourage people to fill in the online form if at all possible. Paper applications take more time to process,” Mr Buck said.

“The priority at present is to process applications from the oldest living ex-Service personnel. Further calls for applications from those aged 60 and over will be made later this year.

“Applications on an unofficial form that is currently in circulation will not be processed.”

The NZDSM application form, and information to assist people to fill in the form, can be found at http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz

In mid April the first NZDSM medals were presented to 34 recipients (selected from various eligible category groups) at a ceremony at Parliament.

Subsequent presentations will be made at local RSA Clubrooms throughout the country. Local RSAs will have staff available at their branches to assist ex-Service people with their applications.

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Applying for the NZDSM online. Just click on the How to Apply Online button in the 15 April 2011 media statement below.

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

Related media statements:

26 July 2012 - Defence Service Medal now available to all ex-Service personnel

17 August 2011 - Sixty year olds can now apply for new medal

15 April 2011 - Applications open for New NZ Defence Service Medal

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Applications open for New NZ Defence Service Medal

15 April 2011

Applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) have now opened for ex-Service personnel who are over 70 years old.

The new medal, which was announced by the Prime Minister in October last year, closes a long-standing gap in medallic recognition of non-operational military service. The first NZDSM medals were presented to 34 recipients (selected from various eligible category groups) at a ceremony at Parliament yesterday.

The medals were presented by Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Judith Collins and Minister of Defence Wayne Mapp.

“Today is about recognising and acknowledging those who have loyally served New Zealand,” Dr Mapp said at the ceremony.

“For those who have worked ‘behind the scenes’ to support others in operational roles, or who completed their CMT or National Service obligations, today is especially significant. Finally they will receive formal acknowledgement for the work they have done.

“The medal recognises the unique requirements of military service. These include commitment to serving one's country, the possibility of operational service, military discipline and lifestyle, and the constraints on employment conditions and personal freedoms that come with life in the military.”

The NZDSM recognises attested 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. Personnel with three years accumulated service, for example between Regular, K Force, J Force and Territorial service (including RNZNR and RNZNVR) will be eligible for the medal.

Due to the large number of people eligible for the NZDSM there will be a four-stage call for applications, with priority given to processing applications from the oldest living ex-Service personnel first.

The Medals Office is expecting more than 100,000 applications for the medal in the first three years of the project to issue the medal. For the first time applications will be able to be initiated online as well as via hard copy.

Subsequent presentations will be made at local RSA Clubrooms throughout the country. Local RSAs will have staff available at their branches to assist ex-Service people with their applications.

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Applying for the NZDSM online. Just click on the How to Apply Online button below.

How to apply online for the NZ Defence Service Medal

About the New Zealand Defence Service Medal

The obverse of the medal has the New Zealand Coat of Arms, the symbol of the Crown and Executive Arm of Government. The reverse side has the fern, plus the emblems of the Navy, Army and Air Force - the Naval crown, crossed swords and eagle. These are the main elements of the Badge of the New Zealand Defence Force. The two fern fronds which normally form part of the Badge of the New Zealand Defence Force have been omitted to avoid the inference that all recipients served in the NZ Defence Force. Many of the recipients will have served in the armed forces prior to the formation of the NZ Defence Force.

The medal ribbon reflects the colours of the Navy, Army and Air Force as dark blue, red and light blue respectively. Light green stripes have been added to represent the volunteer territorial and reserve elements of the Services.

The Royal Warrant for the NZDSM allows for one or more clasps to be awarded with the medal. The number of clasps awarded to an individual will be determined by the type(s) of military service undertaken. There are four clasps which can be awarded with the NZDSM: Regular, Territorial, C.M.T., and National Service.

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

Applications. Ex-Service persons aged 70 or over are invited to apply online or in writing:

- Applying for the NZDSM online

- Paper application forms for the NZDSM

Related media statements:

26 July 2012 - Defence Service Medal now available to all ex-Service personnel

17 August 2011 - Sixty year olds can now apply for new medal

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NZDSM Update - 14 April 2011: 

The NZDF is now accepting applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal from ex-Service persons age 70 or over. Applications from those in other age groups and from the next-of-kin of deceased ex-Servce persons will be called for progressively over the next year or so.

Link to FAQs about the NZ Defence Service Medal.

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First of new Defence medals to be presented on 14 April

8 April 2011

NZDSM Medal

The inaugural presentation of the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) will take place at Parliament next week.

About 30 recipients will receive their medals from Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Judith Collins and Defence Minister Wayne Mapp on Thursday 14 April.

The new medal is awarded for non-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 did compulsory military training or national military service, qualify.

“This medal recognises our service personnel for their contribution to the peace, freedom and security that all New Zealanders enjoy today,” Ms Collins said.

“Our service veterans hold a special status in our society. This Government is committed to honouring those veterans who served their country operationally and in a wide range of vital support roles.”

Dr Mapp said the medal closes a gap in medallic recognition of military service.

“Many thousands of New Zealanders have met the demanding requirements of military service. They have served their country and community loyally and well, including responding to disasters such as the Christchurch earthquakes, but not on operations.

“Up to now there has been no recognition of this service, on which the Government places high value. This medal remedies that. It delivers on the National Party’s campaign commitment to recognise those people.

“It also honours those Reserve personnel whose service comes on top of full-time commitments in civilian life,” he said.

Note: The NZDF is NOT currently accepting applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal. It is anticipated that a call for applications will happen in mid April 2011 for the oldest ex-Service persons.

For more information on the NZDSM see the NZDF's update of 5 April 2011 - Latest information on the NZDSM medal project

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Latest information on the NZDSM medal project

NZDSM Medal5 April 2011

The Royal Warrant and design for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal has been formally approved by Her Majesty The Queen. The first photos of the NZDSM can now be publicly released.

However, applications cannot open until the Regulations have been signed by the Governor-General. These approvals are expected shortly.

When applications open the first people able to apply for the NZDSM will be ex-Service personnel aged over 70. Further applications will be called for as processing progresses.

An initial NZDSM presentation will be made to a small group of ex-Service personnel and to three currently serving personnel at a ceremony in Parliament likely to be held on 14 April. The recipients have been contacted by the NZ Defence Force and have indicated their availability.

Regional medal presentations will be arranged by local RSA branches from late May 2011. Local RSA branches will have staff available to assist ex-Service personnel with their applications.

For further information please read the NZDSM FAQ sheet at http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/nzdsm/faqs.html which is being updated regularly in line with questions received through the medals site.

Once the application process opens the Medals Office aim to deliver medals to those entitled to receive them as quickly as possible and will be providing frequent updates about the NZDSM Project on the NZDF Medals website.

Related media statement:

11 October 2010 - New Defence Force medal announced

Previous NZDSM update:

7 February 2011 - Latest information on the NZDSM medal project

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Minister of Defence: Congratulations on well-deserved bravery awards

2 April 2011

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp has extended his warmest congratulations to the two Defence recipients in the New Zealand Bravery Awards 2011 announced today [2 April].

Air Force Wing Commander Anthony Millsom (now retired) received the New Zealand Bravery Decoration and the Navy’s Chief Petty Officer Mark Taylor has been awarded the New Zealand Bravery Medal.

“Both men showed exceptional courage, putting their own lives at risk for the sake of others. As their citations show, their actions were far above and beyond their duty.

“The core values of the New Zealand Defence Force are courage, commitment and comradeship. The actions which have been recognised by these honours place their courage beyond doubt.

“They have also demonstrated both outstanding commitment to their professional responsibilities and training, and a sense of the comradeship which binds Defence personnel throughout their service and beyond.

“It is the nature of military service to put oneself in harm’s way to protect others. Defence personnel face potentially dangerous situations every day. That these men did not hesitate to step up when others needed them shows the calibre of people that serve in the NZDF.

“They are a credit to the Defence Force and the country. We should all be proud of them,” Dr Mapp said.

Quick Links:

Citation for Wing Commander Anthony Frederick Ronald MILLSOM, Royal New Zealand Air Force (Retired) - date of act: 26 April 2008; year of award: 2011

Citation for Chief Petty Officer Combat System Specialist Mark TAYLOR, Royal New Zealand Navy - date of act: 5 October 2007; year of award: 2011

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Police recipients of bravery award congratulated

2 April 2011

Police Minister Judith Collins has congratulated 13 Police officers who were named as recipients of New Zealand Bravery Awards today.

Ten of the Police award winners were recognised for bravery during an armed siege in Napier on 7 May 2009. The siege began with the fatal shooting of Police Senior Constable Len Snee by Jan Molenaar during a routine check of a Chaucer Rd address.

The officers recognised were Constable Michael John Burne, Senior Constable Dennis Michael Hurworth, Detective Sergeant Timothy Nigel Smith, Senior Constable Paul Anthony Symonds, Sergeant Heath Courtenay Jones, Senior Sergeant Anthony James Miller, Constable Kevin Lawrence Rooney, Detective Paul Buckley, Senior Constable Bradley James Clark, and Detective Sergeant Nicholas John Clere.

Inspector Michael Ross O’Leary was recognised for his bravery in rescuing two children from a burning vehicle on State Highway One near Taupo on 24 April 2009.

Constable Nicholas Warren Corley was recognised for rescuing a driver from a burning vehicle in Auckland on 23 August 2008.

Constable James Alexander Muir will receive the award for apprehending an armed youth at Mt Maunganui on 23 June 2007.

“When the lives of others were at risk, each of these officers stepped forward and put their own safety on the line,” Ms Collins said.

“Their acts of bravery showed not only great leadership, initiative and personal courage, but an outstanding commitment to protecting and serving their fellow New Zealanders.

“When danger looms and the unexpected happens, it is reassuring to know that we have such people serving us in the Police. All New Zealanders should be proud of them.”

For the citations for each of these bravery awards see the Special Honours List 2 April 2011 page on the Honours Unit, Cabinet Office website.

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“Bamiyan Babies” Nurse coordinator honoured in New Years list

15 February 2011 (as published in Army News, Issue 417, p.5)

By Judith Martin

The sight of plastic wrapped babies in a hot and airless hospital ward was part of the reason Army nursing officer Major Sue Carter instituted what became known as the “Bamyan Babies” project.

But it was not just babies Major Carter (formerly Koia) had her eye on— she also made it her mission to improve the conditions experienced by women in the Bamiyan prison, some of whom had young babies with them and others who were pregnant.

Her tenacity in helping improve the lot of women and babies in Bamiyan has earned her a Distinguished Service Decoration, announced in the New Years Honours.

Major Carter (then in the rank of captain), deployed to Afghanistan in October 2009 as the Regimental Nursing Officer with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team.

When she walked into the old 20-bed children’s hospital (which was able to accommodate 40 children when patients shared beds) she noticed plastic covering the windows. “It was like walking into a dark humid hot-house, it was so hot and suffocating it didn’t smell like hospitals should.” This ward was eventually replaced by a whole new purpose- designed Children's Ward built by New Zealanders and members of the Singaporean Armed Forces.

She became a regular visitor to the hospital where mothers and babies were often admitted with malnutrition-related conditions. Afghanistan has one of the highest infant mortality rate in the world (1:4 babies die at birth and 2:5 die before they are 5 years old due to malnutrition), and the mortality rate is worst in Bamyan where the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team is based.

“I asked them what we could do to help. The first thing they said was they wanted more nurses. That was not really feasible in the short term, but then they said they needed more nappies. I saw the babies wrapped in plastic so they would not soil the bedding. I knew we could help there, but I didn’t want to import thousands of disposable nappies because I knew that would not be sustainable, and there would be difficulties in disposing of them.”

Major Carter did what so many people do nowadays when they need a solution to a problem — she looked on the Internet for a pattern for making reusable nappies.

She printed the pattern and asked a local women’s group to make a sample. "I wanted the local women and mothers to know how to make and be able to continue to make them – this was sustainable. I asked the woman who made the sample if she would use it if she had babies and she said she would, and felt others would too. The fabric was available for about $1 a metre which was affordable and women could make them for themselves and others.” The same local business women’s group made sheets for the children’s ward and feeding pillows for the malnutrition ward.

Major Carter also noticed that the hospital, which because of space restrictions had two women and two babies in each single bed, had few resources to teach women how to feed and care for their babies.

“That’s where the idea of having a health educator came from— someone who could teach basic skills, like feeding and hygiene, what to do if a baby has diarrhoea or vomiting and when they should seek medical help.”

A Health Educator would cost $US 160 per month. She became an expert at cajoling money out of people. “I donated the first month, and our doctor donated the second. I just went around camp and people gave me money initially for seven months. They probably gave it to me because they were so sick of listening to me!”

A member of the New Zealand contingent put her in touch with a businesswomen’s group in Whanganui which donated enough money to fund the coordinator for the remaining five months. “Before I knew it we had more than 12 months’ worth of funding. People were really generous.” Medical text books were also sourced for the Health Educator and other medical staff of the local hospital.

New Zealand families sent over money, as well as more than 1000 hand-knitted woollen hats and baby vests, numerous booties, both crocheted and quilted baby blankets, and lots of toys. NZ businesses also gave materials for some of these items to be purchased at cost price.

Cans of baby food and money for local purchasing for the female prisoners to feed their babies were donated, and a small fireplace and oven were installed so they could heat food and keep warm during winter. Extra food and milk was also purchased and clothes distributed to children and babies in one of the forward operating bases. "Contingent members assisted me with preparing suitable food for babies and then delivering it."

Donated money was used to buy coal for the female prisoners and their babies, a local school for disabled children and a childcare centre. The women and children were given warm clothing, blankets, play equipment, extra food, and shoes and socks. The babies were originally only receiving breast milk from mothers who were themselves not receiving adequate nutrition, and baby biscuits.

“Once women are incarcerated in prison they are disowned by their families due to the family’s honour being shamed. They don’t receive any help, and during the six months I was in Bamyan I was told I was the only visitor that the women received.”

Before she left Bamyan arrangements were made with a non-governmental organisation interested in carrying on the work started, as well as managing and distributing ongoing donations received from New Zealand.

Major Carter says what was achieved in Bamiyan would not have been possible without the support of her contingent colleagues and their families and friends in New Zealand.

“I was often just the mouthpiece and organiser. My six months in Bamyan flew by and I left with mixed feelings of knowing we had made the best of an awesome opportunity but that there was still a lot more that could be done.”

When she received the letter informing her of her Distinguished Service Decoration she originally thought it might be a letter asking her to return to Afghanistan to complete some of the other projects which had been started in the last few weeks. One project was arranging for a Medical Surgical team to visit to train local surgeons in minor operations and procedures for children.

“I’d go back there in a heart-beat,” she says. “I feel very honoured to have received this award which is really recognition of all the amazing, generous and compassionate people who believed in and supported “Bamiyan Babies” and for the all the individual team members of the NZ PRT Crib 15 both military and civilian, who collectively have made a difference to the people of Afghanistan.”

Related media statement:

5 January 2011 - New Year Honours for NZDF personnel

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Latest information on the NZDSM medal project

7 February 2011

Applications for the NZ Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) are expected to open in early April 2011 for the oldest ex-Service persons. Applications can only open after Her Majesty The Queen has approved the Royal Warrant, and the Governor-General has signed the Regulations.

The proposed design of the medal has been finalised by the Herald of Arms Extraordinary and will be sent to The Queen shortly for approval. Manufacturing will occur once the design has been approved by The Queen.

Around 160,000 personnel qualify for the NZDSM and the Defence Force Medals Office expect to issue around 116,000 medals over the next three years. With such high numbers a priority programme is necessary and the Minister of Defence has directed that the priority will be:
1. Those living ex-Service personnel over the age of 70
2. Those living ex-Service personnel over the age of 60
3. Then other living ex-Service personnel.

Terminally ill ex-Service personnel will be given priority over all other applicants but will still need to apply in the usual manner.

Families of deceased ex-Service personnel will be invited to apply for their late relation's (husband/father/mother etc) medal entitlement after the processing of the initial applications from older living ex-Service personnel is well underway, possibly in late 2011.

An initial NZDSM presentation will be made to a selected group of ex-Service personnel at a ceremony in Parliament in the first half of 2011. For logistical reasons it is anticipated that the majority of these personnel will be drawn from the Wellington area.

Regional medal presentations will be arranged by local RSA branches from late May 2011.

Interviews are currently taking place for additional staff to process the medal applications.

The hard copy form has been tested and the online version of the form is currently under construction.

For further information please read the NZDSM FAQ sheet http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/nzdsm/faqs.html which is being updated regularly basis in line with questions received through the medals site.

Once the application process opens the Medals Office aim to deliver medals to those entitled to receive them as quickly as possible and will be providing frequent updates about the NZDSM Project on the website at medals.nzdf.mil.nz

Related media statement:

11 October 2010 - New Defence Force medal announced

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New Year Honours for NZDF personnel

5 January 2011

Two New Zealand Defence Force personnel have been named in the 2011 New Year’s Honours.

The recipients are as follows:

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

Major Suzanne Lynn CARTER
Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps
Based at Waiouru Military Camp

Warrant Officer Donald NAPIER
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Lives in Upper Hutt

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.

The citation for the DSD to Major Suzanne Lynn Carter, RNZNC states:

Major Carter (then in the rank of Captain), deployed to Afghanistan in August 2009 as the Nursing Officer with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team. Early in her deployment, she learned about the poor conditions for women in Bamyan prison, some of whom had young babies with them and others who were pregnant. She also learned about the lack of basic resources, such as nappies and clothing for children, who were patients or were receiving treatment at the Bamyan provincial hospital.

She initiated a project known as ‘Bamyan Babies’. As a result of her funding raising activities, she was able to coordinate the distribution of basic needs, such as clothing, heating, baby food and basic medical care for the women in prison and their children. She instituted a process to locally manufacture modern re-usable nappies, which also provided a business opportunity for the local women. She also arranged for the recruitment of a child health specialist at Bamyan hospital to address the gap in basic mother-craft skills and made arrangements for the salary of this person to be met for the first 12 months, by private charitable donations. Her efforts resulted in the Bamyan government agreeing to provide monthly medical clinics at the prison and to consider the development of a more suitable separate women’s compound within a new prison currently under construction.

Also see: 15 February 2011 - “Bamiyan Babies” Nurse coordinator honoured in New Years list (as published in Army News, Issue 417, p.5)

The citation for the DSD to Warrant Officer Donald Napier, RNZAF states:

Warrant Officer Napier is the first Flight Commander of the New Zealand Defence Force Information Technology Academy (NZDFITA). The academy was set up to train and provide personnel on operational deployments with the skills and capabilities of building, maintaining and enhancing large-scale server-based networks and to standardise training for such capability across the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

His close association with Information Technology began when he developed the training which changed the RNZAF Telecommunications trade to the Communication and Information Systems (CIS) trade; he also developed a generic computer training curriculum to provide CIS personnel with the skills to establish full office computer desktop functions on deployable domain-based networks.

This experience made him a natural choice to be tasked with establishing and running an academy to deliver a commercially sourced training and certification system for NZDF personnel. The first course graduated in February 2008 and since then, the NZDFITA has trained personnel at a fraction of the cost of an external agency, achieving an almost 100 per cent success rate.

Such personnel are providing enhanced capability for the NZDF. They are also essential for the provision of deployed secure advanced domain-based networks, which play an increasingly important part in exercises and operations.

(as published in Air Force News, Issue #122, February 2011, p.4)

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Defence Personnel Executive, Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force has responsibility for all medals issues relating to current or past service in the New Zealand Armed Forces. The Medals Staff at Defence Personnel Executive conduct research into all claims for medallic recognition whether for an individual's service or for service in areas of operation where no current medallic recognition exists.

The following medal eligibility reviews are currently under consideration by the NZDF or the Government:

Long Service Awards Review

Update 2 June 2014: A review of medals awarded for long and unblemished service has been under way for some time.

Earlier this year, the Minister of Defence asked the Prime Minister to consider a number of additional improvements to the long service awards system. The Prime Minister was supportive of these changes.

The Regulations are now being finalised. An announcement is expected by the end of 2014.

Update 30 September 2013: A review of medals awarded for long and unblemished service has been under way for some time. New Regulations for the long service awards are currently being drafted.

During the drafting process a number of potential additional improvements to the long service awards system have been identified. Senior NZDF management will soon consider these additional changes, and if supported, the additional changes will be forwarded to the Government for their consideration.

Once final decisions have been made on the potential additional improvements the draft Regulations will be modified, and submitted to the Minister of Defence and the Governor-General. An announcement is expected early in 2014.

Update 30 May 2013: A review of medals awarded for long and unblemished service has been under way for some time. New Regulations for the long service awards are currently being drafted. These will then be considered by the Minister of Defence and the Governor-General.

Also see:

Review of medals for military service in South-East Asia 1950 to 2011

13 March 2014 - The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group: Service in South-East Asia 1950-2011 - Announcement of the decisions on the recommendations in the Final Report

20 December 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

23 September 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

30 May 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

4 March 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

12 July 2011 - Consultation begins on medals for military service in South-East Asia 1950 to 2011

Update 24 August 2011: Submissions have now closed.

The Government announced on 13 March 2014 its decisions on the recommendations from the Joint Working Group.

 

 This page was last reviewed 17 September, 2014 and is current.