Commandant, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Taylor
Lieutenant Colonel Richard Taylor was born in Te Awamutu in 1963, and educated at Te Awamutu College. He joined the Territorial Force of the New Zealand Army in 1983, and served in the 6th Battalion (Hauraki), Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. He was commissioned in March 1986.
In November 1986, he transferred to the Regular Force and the Royal New Zealand Army Education Corps (RNZAEC) to take up the post of Curator of the QEII Army Memorial Museum, Waiouru. In 1993, he was promoted to Major and appointed Director of the Museum. During this appointment he oversaw the development of a new research and public facility, the Kippenberger Pavilion.
In 1995, he was posted to the Military Studies Institute (MSI) as Education Officer for Trentham Camp and the Wellington region. In 1998, he was posted to Headquarters MSI as Senior Education Advisor; and in 2000 he was seconded to Massey University, where he taught military history, defence studies, logistics, and New Zealand history.
In January 2002, he was posted to Human Resources Executive, Army General Staff, as GSO2 Individual Development. Between February and July 2003, he deployed to Bougainville with Operation BEL ISI II, as Operations Officer, Liaison Team Buka. Following this deployment he returned to Army General Staff as GSO2 Human Resource Policy. He remained at Army General Staff until May 2005.
Between May and December 2005, he attended the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College. He graduated as Dux of No. 46 Senior Staff Course, and was also awarded the Chief of Defence Force Writing Prize, and a Pass with Distinction in the Massey University Postgraduate Diploma of Arts (Defence Studies).
In December 2005, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and appointed Commanding Officer of the Military Studies Institute.
In December 2010, he assumed the appointment of Defence Adviser to Papua New Guinea, with cross-accreditation to Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. In the Papua New Guinea 2013 New Year Honours List, Lieutenant Colonel Taylor was awarded the Distinguished Military Service Medal for his contribution to New Zealand-Papua New Guinea defence relations.
In December 2012, he was seconded to Headquarters Papua New Guinea Defence Force as Deputy Chief of Staff, with the acting rank of Colonel. In this capacity he worked closely with the Commander, the Chief of Staff, Branch Heads and senior Department of Defence staff on a range of projects. In December 2015, he was awarded the PNGDF Commander’s Commendation in recognition of his contribution as Deputy Chief of Staff.
In January 2016, he assumed the appointment of Commandant, New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College.
Lieutenant Colonel Taylor is a graduate of Waikato and Massey Universities. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in History; a Master of Social Sciences in Politics and History; and Postgraduate Diplomas of Arts (Defence Studies) and Museum Studies. His doctoral thesis involved an examination of British logistics in the New Zealand Wars (1845-72).
Lieutenant Colonel Taylor has published a general history of the New Zealand Army, two unit histories and a range of smaller publications and articles. In July 1999, he was awarded a Chief of General Staff’s Commendation in recognition of his efforts in recording and publishing aspects of the history of the New Zealand Army.
Lieutenant Colonel Taylor is married to Pamela, and lives in Upper Hutt. His interests include golf, military history, international relations, general reading, psephology, following cricket and rugby, and landscaping and gardening.