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VC Hero to Take on New Career Challenges

Media Release
18 July 2012

VC Hero to Take on New Career Challenges

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, today announced that Corporal Willie Apiata, V.C. is to leave the Regular Force of the New Zealand Defence Force to pursue an employment opportunity in the private sector.

Lieutenant General Jones says Corporal Apiata advised the NZ Defence Force several months ago of his intention to terminate his Regular Force service. He will remain a member of the Defence Force's Reserve Forces.

Corporal Apiata is New Zealand's first and only recipient of the Victoria Cross for New Zealand, awarded following his gallant actions to save a wounded comrade on operations in Afghanistan in 2004. The Victoria Cross for New Zealand was instituted in 1999 to replace the British Victoria Cross which had previously been awarded to New Zealand military personnel for outstanding gallantry.

“Since the award was announced on 02 July 2007, Corporal Apiata has worked extremely hard to discharge his new responsibilities as a public figure, while also maintaining his role as a member of the New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment,” says Lieutenant General Jones.

“The NZ Defence Force thanks Corporal Apiata for his significant contribution and wishes him well with his future career.”

Lieutenant General Jones says the NZ Defence Force does not intend to disclose details of Cpl Apiata's new role or the date that he will be officially released from the NZ Defence Force. Corporal Apiata has asked for his privacy to be respected as he makes this transition from military to civilian life.

ENDS


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