NZDF

Chief of Army

Major General A.D. Gawn, MBE

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Major General Arthur David Gawn was born in Marton, New Zealand in May 1958 and was educated at Dunstan High School.
 
He enlisted into the New Zealand Army in August 1978 and was posted to 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR). He undertook initial officer training at the Officer Cadet School, Portsea in Australia and graduated into the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment as a Second Lieutenant in June 1980.

After a period of post graduate training and Platoon Commander experience at the Waiouru Training Depot, Major General Gawn was posted to the 2/1 RNZIR, Burnham Camp as a Platoon Commander in Alpha Company. In December 1981, he was posted to the 1st Battalion RNZIR, Singapore as a Platoon Commander in Charlie Company and then as the Reconnaissance Platoon Commander.

In May 1984, Major General Gawn returned to New Zealand, posted as the Staff Officer Air and Special Duties on Headquarters Army Training Group, Waiouru. In December 1985 he was posted to Headquarters Land Force Command, Takapuna as the Staff Officer Grade Three Co-ordination. He was promoted to Captain in January 1987. In October 1987, Major General Gawn was posted to the 1st Ranger Company as the Officer Commanding. Due to Government cut-backs this unit was never fully manned and it was disestablished in late 1989.

Major General Gawn was posted to Headquarters Land Force Command as the Staff Officer Grade Three Peacekeeping in December 1989. In December 1990, he was posted as the New Zealand Instructor at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra. Major General Gawn returned to New Zealand in December 1992 to the 1st Battalion RNZIR at Linton Camp as a Company Commander. In September 1994 he was posted to NZFOR UNPROFOR as the Officer Commanding Kiwi Company based at Santici Camp, Bosnia.

Major General Gawn returned to New Zealand in March 1995 and shortly thereafter was posted to the United States to attend Staff College at Leavenworth. On completion of Staff College in June 1996 Major General Gawn was selected to attend the School of Advanced Warfighting at Quantico. He returned to New Zealand in June 1997 and assumed the appointment as Instructor, Tactical School, Waiouru. In January 1998 on promotion to Lieutenant Colonel he was posted to Development Branch, Army General Staff Wellington as the Staff Officer Grade Doctrine and Capability Development. He moved to Trentham in May 1999 when the Capability, Analysis and Doctrine (CAD) Cell was set up.

In July 2000 Major General Gawn was posted to the New Zealand United Nations Transitional Authority as the Commanding Officer, the 3rd New Zealand Battalion Group. He returned to New Zealand in May 2001 and assumed the appointment of Joint Staff Officer Grade One Doctrine and Evaluation (J8), Joint Force Headquarters, Upper Hutt. While posted to the Headquarters Major General Gawn was promoted to Colonel and assumed the appointment of J3 Operations.

In December 2002 Major General Gawn assumed the appointment as Assistant Chief of Staff, Development Branch Army General Staff Wellington. In January 2005 he commenced study at the Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies. After completion of this course in December 2005 he was appointment as Commander 3rd Land Force Group, Burnham Military Camp. On 18 October 2007 he was promoted to Brigadier and became the Land Component Commander within Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand. In December 2010, Major General Gawn moved into Army General Staff as the Deputy Chief of Army. With effect 18 April 2011 Major General Gawn was promoted and assumed his current position of Commander Joint Forces New Zealand.

On 18 April 2011, Major General Gawn was promoted to his current rank and assumed the position of Commander Joint Forces New Zealand. With effect 25 February 2013, Major General Gawn assumed his current position of the Chief of Army.

Major General Gawn 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, Major General Gawn received a Force Commander’s Commendation for his role in East Timor.

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This page was last reviewed on 16 July 2014, and is current.