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Joining the Air Force a family affair for Northland man

Following in his family’s footsteps Flying Officer Christopher Moohan (Ngapuhi), from Kaikohe, has graduated from the Officer Commissioning Course at Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Base Woodbourne.

12 January, 2022

Flying Officer Moohan, 32, originally joined the RNZAF in 2007 as an Aircraft Technician. His parents were in the RNZAF in the 1980s, where his mum worked as a Safety and Surface Technician and dad as an Avionics Technician. His sister also joined in 2006 as an Administration Clerk.

“I was sold on getting a trade under my belt while the military paid me. At 17 I didn’t know what I wanted for my future, I did know however that the military was a place I wanted to be from the stories from my parents’ life in the military.” 

After spending 10 years as an Aircraft Technician, Flying Officer Moohan left to get a Bachelor in Business Management. He then re-enlisted as a Supply Officer in June 2021.

“When I finished my degree the world went into lockdown and the security of working in the New Zealand Defence Force was the best thing for me and my family. I never thought that I was capable of becoming an officer, but my friends in the military encouraged me that I was which cemented my decision.”

Flying Officer Moohan has a two-year-old daughter and his partner is also in the RNZAF.

Two airman stand looking at the camera, side-by-side in their uniform. They hands are clasped together in front of each of them.

Flying Officer Christopher Moohan and his partner Corporal Megan Cosgrove at the recent Officer Commissioning Course graduation.

An intensive four-month course that is a mixture of university study, RNZAF and NZDF specific classes and leadership training, helps prepare new officers for managing, coaching and mentoring younger airmen and women.

“This course has been especially difficult to navigate as New Zealand went in to lockdown four days in. This meant our Directing Staff had to work hard behind the scenes to get us where we are today.” 

Flying Officer Moohan said that he had been on a long journey learning about his Māori heritage from his mother’s side of the family, growing up in Kaikohe. The bi-cultural environment of the RNZAF had boosted his pride and he hoped that others could feel the same way he did when they joined.

“I am proud of my culture and the way it makes me feel. The way that it connects me to the land and my people. When I re-joined the RNZAF, we were welcomed with a haka powhiri. The feeling of pride and belonging will stick with me forever.”

Flying Officer Moohan is now looking forward to stepping into his new role as a Supply Officer.