Top rank for former Timaru man

01:43, Jan 31 2009
NEW RANK: Major General Rhys Jones receives his rank slides from Chief of Defence Force Jerry Mateparae and his wife Debbie Jones, during his promotion to major general this week.

Former Timaru man Major General Rhys Jones has been appointed Commander of Joint Forces New Zealand.

"I consider this role to be the culmination of my career. It places me at the sharp end of the military, responsible for all operational deployments which are the reason why we have a Defence Force," Major General Jones said of his appointment.

He joined the Army in 1978, graduating from Officer College at Duntroon, Australia into the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps at the rank of Lieutenant in December 1982.

His academic achievements include attending Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, USA, and higher defence college at the Australian Defence College. He has also attained a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from La Trobe University (Melbourne) and has a Diploma in Qualitative Futures.

Within the Armoured Corps Major General Jones held a variety of command appointments, including Commanding Officer of Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles (QAMR). He also commanded the 3rd Land Force Group based in the South Island.

Major General Jones experienced operational duty in the Middle East with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation as an observer and operations officer.

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He said he was very thankful for the support he has had from various people within the New Zealand Defence Force over the years.

Major General Jones is married to Debbie and they have three children.

His connection to Timaru remains strong with his brother Owen and sister Rhonda Bucheler still living here.

n Herald Staff

The Timaru Herald