God bless the NZDF!
Our most heartfelt congratulations and lavish praise for the 17 members of the NZ Defence Force, awarded Bronze Stars & US Army Commendation Medals, today at the American Embassy in Wellington, for meritorious service during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
"It is rare for Defence Force Personnel to have exemplary service on operational service recognised by other nations. The only recent precedent is the recognition of the NZ Special Air Service for service in Afghanistan with the award of the US Presidential Unit Citation to the entire unit in 2004."
Let's echo Defence Minister, Phil Goff, when he says: "I extend my personal congratulations and those of the NZ government to all the recipients and to thank the United States Government for their recognition of the work of these New Zealanders."
The Bronze Stars were awarded to Major Marcus Linehan - army; Warrant OfficerClass Two Dugald Brown - army; Staff Sergeant Kevin Cowsill - army; Major Roger Earp, - army; Commander James Gleeson - navy; Lieutenant Colonel Michael Hickman,- army; Air Commodore Gavin Howse - air force; and Major Mark Taylor - army.
Personnel awarded the Army Commendation Medal were Group Captain John Duxfield - airforce; Warrant Officer Class Two Michael Hadfield - army; Chief Petty Officer Stephan Lock - navy; Lieutenant William Petersen - army; Captain Dean Rennie - army; and Major Andrew Shaw - army.
Not at the ceremony were Colonel Michael Alexander and Lieutenant Colonel A MacKinnon -- both awarded the Bronze Star; and Corporal Aaron Packer who was awarded the Commendation Medal.
Absolutely awesome! What a great honour and fantastic moment for them, their families, our armed forces, and our nation. We're all so immensely proud of you! God bless you all! Amen!