New Chief of Army selected

02:12, Feb 20 2013

Major General Dave Gawn has been appointed the new Chief of Army.

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman today announced his selection, and said Gawn "exhibited the strategic and leadership characteristics required" to lead the army.

The role became vacant last December when Major General Tim Keating was appointed Vice Chief of Defence.

Gawn, who enlisted in the New Zealand Army in 1978, had been trained as an officer in Australia, and served in various leadership roles in Singapore, Bosnia, and East Timor.

He was awarded a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1996 New Year's Honours List.

In May 2001, he received a Force Commander's Commendation for his work in East Timor.


He studied in the United States at Staff College, where he attended the School of Advanced Warfighting.

The Virginia-based school teaches officers to improve the warfighting capabilities of nations.

In 2010, Major General Gawn took the position of Deputy Chief of Army, and in April 2011 was promoted to his current rank and assumed his current position of Commander Joint Forces New Zealand.

Replacing Gawn as the new Commander Joint Forces New Zealand is Air Commodore Kevin Short.

Short has had many senior level roles with the Air Force, and said he was looking forward to the challenges of his new position.

“Headquarters Joint Forces NZ is a tri-service Defence environment, and I know I’ll be part of a strong team dedicated to supporting our deployed forces,” he said.

“The work that the New Zealand Defence Force does overseas is not always easy but it is hugely important, and I’m proud to be a part of that.”

Short will take up his role on 25 February.