Gallantry Awards recognise NZSAS

  • Gerry Brownlee
Defence

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has today announced the awarding of nine New Zealand Gallantry Awards that recognise the outstanding courage shown by members of 1NZSAS Regiment while serving in Afghanistan.

For security reasons, the names of the NZSAS recipients and full details of the actions taken by them will not be released by the New Zealand Government.

The New Zealand Gallantry Star has been awarded to two members of the NZSAS. Serviceman J attended an incident at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul in 2011. His citation states that he demonstrated outstanding gallantry and leadership under heavy fire from a determined enemy, contributing to the resolution of the incident and the protection of comrades and civilians.

Serviceman D repeatedly faced heavy fire from determined enemies and sustained several wounds in the line of duty, while contributing to the resolution of several incidents, the protection of civilian life and defeating enemy operations.

Mr Brownlee says that the performance of the two Servicemen was of the highest order and in keeping with the finest tradition of New Zealand’s military record.

The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration has been awarded to two NZSAS personnel. Both servicemen attended the incident at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul in 2011. Their citations state that the men demonstrated exceptional gallantry under heavy fire. One of the men was wounded in the line of duty.

And the New Zealand Gallantry Medal has been awarded to five NZSAS personnel. Two of the awards are to men who also displayed bravery at the incident at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul and two are to men who attended the incident at the British Council Office Compound in Kabul in 2011.

The fifth recipient demonstrated gallantry in exposing himself to direct fire to assist a wounded comrade and another exposed himself to enemy fire to provide medical support to a wounded comrade. 

“Our NZSAS personnel operate in dangerous and volatile situations and all of these men have demonstrated extreme courage in the face of a determined enemy,” Mr Brownlee says.  

“I am extremely proud of the extraordinary bravery and outstanding performance of these men. Their actions reflect not only the courage and character of the individuals concerned but also the ethos, high standards and training of the unit itself.” Editor's note:

About the New Zealand Gallantry Awards

  • New Zealand Gallantry Awards recognise military and support personnel who perform acts of gallantry while involved in war and warlike operational service, including peacekeeping. 
  • The level of award is generally determined by the nature of the incident which has resulted in the act of gallantry, including the level of danger of the operational service, and whether there is any threat caused by an enemy (or ‘belligerent’). The leadership or initiative shown by a person, whether acting under orders or otherwise, may also be taken into account. 
  • There are four levels of award.  In descending level, these are:
    • The Victoria Cross for New Zealand (VC) – for most conspicuous gallantry, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy or of belligerents;
    • The New Zealand Gallantry Star (NZGS) – for acts of outstanding gallantry in situations of danger;
    • The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration (NZGD) – for acts of exceptional gallantry in situations of danger;
    • The New Zealand Gallantry Medal (NZGM) – for acts of gallantry.
  • Nominations come up through the chain of command at the New Zealand Defence Force to the Chief of Defence Force. The Queen formally approves awards of the VC, NZGS and NZGD on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Governor-General formally approves awards of the NZGM on the advice of the Prime Minister. 

Use of postnominals

Recipients of honours may be referred to with the appropriate postnominals (letters after their name) from the time of announcement, e.g.

            Squadron Leader Pryor, NZGM

Awards and appointments – terminology

The New Zealand Gallantry Awards are all medals or decorations, so recipients are ‘awarded’ their medals or decorations, e.g. “Squadron Leader Pryor is awarded the New Zealand Gallantry Medal”. Please note that gallantry medals or decorations are not ‘won’.

Gallantry Award recipients by level on this Special Honours List:

  Total The Victoria Cross for New Zealand 0 The New Zealand Gallantry Star 2 The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration 2 The New Zealand Gallantry Medal 5

New Zealand Gallantry Awards: Illustrations