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Warrant Officer Diver Lance Graham

The Warrant Officer of the Navy is the most senior Warrant Officer in the Royal New Zealand Navy. They report to the Chief of Navy and provide advice to Navy senior leadership about issues affecting sailors.

Warrant Officer Diver Lance Graham

Warrant Officer Diver Lance Graham

Warrant Officer Diver Lance Graham enlisted into the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1989 as a Radio Operator, serving on several warships during his first six years of service.

In 1997, he deployed operationally under the auspices of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) to the Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Centre, Iraq.

In 1998, WODR Graham transferred into the Operational Diving Team and in 1999 deployed with Royal Navy Fleet Diving Unit One (Maritime Counter Terrorism Team) and Fleet Diving Unit Two (World Operations Team). WODR Graham deployed operationally in 2001 to East Timor.

In 2002, WODR Graham was awarded Sailor of the Quarter and in 2003 successfully qualified as a Petty Officer Diver, attaining DUX for both the professional and command components.

WODR Graham was awarded RNZN Petty Officer DUX of the year for 2003.

In 2004, WODR Graham posted to HMNZS Te Mana, deploying to the Arabian Gulf as an element of Operation Enduring Freedom.

WODR Graham posted to the Naval School of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (NAVSCOLEOD) Eglin Air Force Base, Florida in 2006, qualifying as a NATO Explosive Ordnance Technician.

On his return, WODR Graham promoted to Chief Petty Officer and posted to the newly formed Joint Service EOD School where he was a founding instructor.

In 2007, WODR Graham deployed operationally to Southern Lebanon as an EOD Team Leader under the UN Mine Action Co-ordination Centre (UNMACC) mandate. WODR Graham promoted to his current rank in 2010, and posted into an executive role, where he was pivotal in developing multi-agency and coalition partnerships.

In 2011, WODR Graham posted to the RNZN Diving School where he assumed the leadership role of Head of the Diving Trade. In 2014 WODR Graham successfully completed the NZDF Joint Warrant Officer Advanced Course and subsequently moved to the Leadership Development Group. WODR Graham posted into the Command Warrant Officer (CWO) position for Headquarters Deployable Joint Interagency Task Force (HQDJIATF) in 2016. In Dec 2018 WO Graham posted to US INDOPACOM as a Foreign Exchange Officer in a dual role appointment as the Partner Nation Enlisted Development Coordinator and as a planner and senior enlisted advisor for the Global Peace Operations Initiative.

On 29 January 2021, WO Graham became the ninth Warrant Officer of the Navy. During his 32 years of service, WODR Graham has been awarded; the NZ Operational Service Medal; the NZ General Service Medal; the East Timor Medal; the NZ General Service Medal Afghanistan; the NZ General Service Medal Iraq; the RNZN Long Service and Good Conduct Medal; and the UN Medal Iraq.