NZ Army Officer receives honour from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
14 December 2010
His Royal Highness The Prince Of Wales has invested Lt Col Nick Gillard, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery as an Additional Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
The award was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2010 and because Lieutenant Colonel Gillard is currently based in London as Military Advisor attached to New Zealand Defence Staff, he had the opportunity of having the honour presented to him at the Palace.
“I talked to His Royal Highness for a couple of minutes and he was keen to thank New Zealand for its efforts in Afghanistan. He was well briefed about our contribution to ISAF.
“I remain thankful to all members of ARIKI 14 and those contingents who preceded us, whose collective efforts and professionalism made my job an easy one. I am also thankful to my family for their continued support and it was wonderful that they could share such a unique occasion.”
Lieutenant Colonel Gillard deployed to Afghanistan from April to October 2009 as Chief of Staff for the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) based in Bamyan.
The citation for the award states he effectively practiced mission command at all times, which allowed his staff the freedom to conduct operations to best effect. He was personally responsible for planning and coordinating the security aspects of the Bamyan Province elections in conjunction with the Afghan National Security Forces.
The result saw elections being conducted with a high level of security and in an efficient manner. He also oversaw the successful embedding of United States Military Police into Bamyan, to begin their mission of training the Afghan National Police.
His understanding of the complex relationships between international forces and the Afghan people saw immense progress being made by the NZPRT. (source)