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New Soldiers Commended for Off-Duty Bravery

New Soldiers Commended for Off-Duty Bravery

PTE Sean Chapman and PTE Jack Martin were awarded Commander’s Commendations for what has been described as “a selfless act of bravery

Two new soldiers in the New Zealand Army have received Commander’s Commendations for what has been described as “a selfless act of bravery”.

The soldiers were honoured on the same day that they graduated as members of the New Zealand Army in Waiouru this week. The commendations were awarded by the Commander of the Waiouru Military Camp, Colonel (COL) Evan Williams.

Private (PTE) Jack Martin from Auckland’s North Shore and PTE Sean Chapman from Opotiki were at a bar in Albany, Auckland, in March enjoying a mid-course break from the Army’s All Arms Recruit Course, when they witnessed a man knocked unconscious by another.

“It was a king-hit from behind. He went down hard and smacked his head on one of the speakers in the club,” said PTE Chapman.

“You could hear his head hit the speaker, even over the noise of the music.”

Both men jumped to the man’s aid and conducted first aid and CPR until the Police and St John’s Ambulance arrived.

PTE Martin ensured no one interfered with his colleague’s attempts to revive the man by keeping a crowd of people back from the first aid process.

“It was quite an intense time with lots of intoxicated people around who were trying to intervene. It took a lot of effort to keep them from doing further harm by doing things that would not have helped,” said PTE Martin.

The police officer who attended the scene notified the recruits’ course commanders and described what they did as “a selfless act that had the potential to bring them into the crossfire of a hostile situation, and yet it was done with a clear view in mind to render assistance to an injured stranger.”

The pair said they don’t know what eventually happened to the man but hoped he had made a full recovery.

“We did what we did by instinct, thanks to our training, and I hope he ended up okay,” said PTE Chapman.

COL Williams said the two soldiers showed courage and commitment in the face of an adverse situation.

“What they did possibly ensured that the serious assault did not result in long-term injury or death.

“These commendations recognise the courage and commitment displayed by them and highlight the importance of the Army ethos and values of courage, commitment, comradeship and integrity,” he said.


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