Maritime Component Commander

Commodore Tony Millar

MCC CDRE Tony Millar

The Maritime Component Commander commands the fleet of Navy ships that regularly deploys overseas and around New Zealand to protect and support New Zealand’s interests. 

Commodore Tony Millar was born in Canterbury, educated at Wellington College, and joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1982. After successfully completing junior officer competency training and navigating a number of HMNZ Ships, he was posted to Australia to complete specialist Navigation and Surface Warfare Officer Courses.

Over the succeeding two decades he completed three operational deployments to the Persian Gulf to conduct UN-sanctions against Iraq and was deployed to peace support operations in Bougainville, East Timor (Timor-Leste) and the Solomon Islands. Also, while second in command of the frigate TE KAHA, undertook the first New Zealand resource protection patrol in the Deep Southern Ocean under the auspices of the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

Soon after the events of September 11 Commodore Millar was deployed to Tampa, Florida as a planning officer at US Central Command, and on return was appointed as Commanding Officer of the Diving Support Ship MANAWANUI. Subsequently, Commodore Millar was promoted to Commander and posted to the staff of the Chief of Defence Force as the strategic-level desk officer concerned with NZDF commitments to Operation Enduring Freedom, the global campaign against terrorism.

In late 2006, Commodore Millar was selected to be the first Commanding Officer of the amphibious sealift ship CANTERBURY, responsible for the initial setting up of the Ship and introducing this new and exciting capability into the Defence Force. Upon departing CANTERBURY, Commodore Millar was appointed as the Commander – Maritime Operational Evaluation Team (MOET) which provides and conducts operational capability audits and assists units in maintaining readiness.

During 2010 Commodore Millar returned to Timor-Leste as Commander Task Group 652.3 – the Senior New Zealand Officer in theatre and Deputy Commander of the International Stabilisation Force. On returning from Timor-Leste Commodore Millar was posted as the senior Naval Officer in the South Island before returning to Defence Headquarters to take up the role of Director of Strategic Commitments.

In 2014 he was granted the acting rank of Commodore and appointed Commander CTF-151, conducting counter-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean region, as part of Combined Maritime Forces based in NAVCENT in Bahrain.  On returning to New Zealand he relinquished acting rank and returned to his Strategic Commitments role until June 2017, when he commenced studies at the Eisenhower School for National Resource Strategy in Washington DC. On return from the United States he was promoted to Commodore and appointed as the Maritime Component Commander at Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand.

During his career, Commodore Millar has seen service in the Persian Gulf, Bougainville, East Timor, and the Solomons; and conducted operational visits to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Commodore Millar has a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science; a Master of Philosophy in Strategic Studies; a Master of Science degree in National Security and Resource Strategy; and a Post-Graduate qualification in Public Policy. In his spare time, he established a start-up extra virgin olive oil company and also completed the first year of a Law Degree.

Commodore Millar was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1999 and Honorary Aide de Camp to the Governor-General of New Zealand in 2011. He enjoys political philosophy and international relations, and is a below-average golfer.

This page was last reviewed on 19 November 2018.