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Soldiers battle it out for Reservist of the Year

11 September 2012

Soldiers battle it out for Reservist of the Year

Lance Corporal (LCPL) Mark Gilmour battled the weather and other competitors to take out the NZ Defence Force Reservist of the Year competition in Wellington on Saturday 8 September.

The competition pitted 14 representatives of the Army and Navy Reserve Force units from around New Zealand, against each other in a test of military skills. These included weapons handling, first aid, public speaking and physical fitness tests.

The oldest of four children, LCPL Gilmour joined Charlie Company of the 3rd Auckland and Northland Battalion group in 2005 to get “out of the ordinary of university life”.

Since joining he has spent time in Christchurch digging out liquefaction after the Christchurch earthquake and was able to give back to the Army by instructing two basic training courses for new recruits.

"It was great to be able to pass on my skills to the next generation of soldiers; while my friends were off partying, I was off making a difference."

LCPL Gilmour is currently studying towards an engineering degree at the University of Auckland after already graduating with degrees in genetics and philosophy from the University of Otago.

Reservists are part time members of the military who, in addition to their civilian employment, have a parallel career in the NZ Defence Force as a member of the Navy, Army or Air Force. Reserves supplement the Regular Force and often bring specialist skills, such as surgical or engineering skills.

Many reservists take leave from their regular employment to serve on Defence Force operations in places like the Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and Afghanistan.

The Director General of Reserve Forces and Youth Development, Brigadier Sean Trengrove says the Reservist of the Year competition 2012 was a great success.
“The contestants were great ambassadors for their ships and units. They engaged fully in the competition striving to be the best at each activity, even though some activities tested their previous experience.

“At the end of the competition there was a strong feeling of camaraderie developed from a shared experience that was obvious to all of those privileged to attend.”

The Reservist of the Year award was presented by Mrs Joan Clouston the daughter of Sir Harold Barrowclough who was a reservist known for his conspicuous bravery and brilliant leadership during the first and second World Wars.

Second place went to Aucklander, Private Cieran Marshall 11/4 Battery, 16th Field Regiment; and third prize went to Wellington local, Lance Corporal Richard Delaney of Bravo Company, 7th Wellington and Hawkes Bay Battalion.


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