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New Chief of Army and Chief of Navy Appointments Welcomed

01 September 2015

New Chief of Army and Chief of Navy Appointments Welcomed

The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General (LTGEN) Tim Keating, has welcomed the appointments of the new Chief of Army and Chief of Navy announced today by Defence Minister Hon Gerry Brownlee.

Brigadier (BRIG) Peter Kelly has been appointed as the next Chief of Army and Commodore (CDRE) John Martin has been appointed as the next Chief of Navy.

“I want to congratulate both officers on their success in being appointed to these very important positions,” says LTGEN Keating.

“The roles of the chiefs of the three Services are to raise, train and sustain their respective Service. These positions are of vital importance to both the Service concerned -- whether that is Army, Navy or Air Force -- and the wider Defence Force.”

BRIG Kelly will formally take up the role as Chief of Army at a powhiri and handover ceremony at Waiouru on 10 September, and is being promoted to Major General.

CDRE John Martin currently leads capability development for the New Zealand Defence Force as Assistant Chief Capability. He will formally take up his new role on 30 November, and will be promoted to Rear Admiral.

BRIG Kelly has been acting Chief of Army since Major General Dave Gawn left the position in late July to be Head of Mission and Chief of Staff to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation. The current Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Jack Steer, will be retiring from the Navy at the end of November.

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“I want to thank Jack Steer for his long and valuable service to the Royal New Zealand Navy and the New Zealand Defence Force,” says LTGEN Keating.

BRIG Kelly says he’s very honoured to be appointed as the next Chief of Army.

“When I joined the Army 30 years ago it was because I wanted to part of a team that aspired to be great, to lead soldiers and seek the adventure and challenge that the Army promised.

“I certainly found that and more, and I continue to be very passionate about our Army and Defence Force. Commanding and leading soldiers is an absolute privilege and should never be taken lightly.

“The mums, dads, husbands, wives and partners of our men and women who have been entrusted into our care, expect 100 per cent effort and commitment from myself and all the leaders within the army, when leading their loved ones. That is a big responsibility and one that I take seriously.

“I have confidence in our people and our ability; we are a great little Army and are well led, well trained and well equipped component of the Defence Force,” says BRIG Kelly.

CDRE Martin says it’s an honour and privilege to be selected to lead the Navy.
"As a maritime nation we depend on seaborne trade and so we send our ships far and wide to conduct missions from anti-piracy to fisheries protection.

“We do so in an environment uncompromising in its harshness, and it requires from us the highest levels of professionalism. Our sailors do a wonderful job and I look forward to working to ensure that they are part of a strong and capable unified Defence Force.

“The Navy also needs to get ready for the future because our operating environment is changing.

“Key to our future is the need to attract and train people from across our society, give them the ability to use equipment that is yet to be acquired, and empower them to defend New Zealand’s interests at sea,” says CDRE Martin.


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