How others see their Veterans

The following are brief extracts from our “Five Eyes” coalition partner governments, i.e. Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States prescribing their definition of “What is a Veteran”!

The Australian document is quite lengthy, so click on this URL

Any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who successfully underwent basic training and is honourably discharged. … VAC considers any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who releases with an honourable discharge and who successfully underwent basic training to be a Veteran.  Click HERE to read more.

United Kingdom
In the UK a military veteran is defined as anyone who has drawn one day’s pay from the Armed Forces. … A veteran is therefore not defined by the length, nature of their service, or when they left.  Click HERE to read more.

United States
What is a Veteran? Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations defines a veteran as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonourable.” This definition explains that any individual that completed a service for any branch of armed forces classifies as a veteran as long as they were not dishonourably discharged. However, with regard to applicable benefits, other considerations are important and will be covered in later sections.  Click HERE to read more.

Thanks John B for the definitions.

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Meri Kirihimete

On behalf of the RNZNCA Committee, I would like to extend the compliments of the
season to not only association members, but also other members of the Navy
Communications Branch, both ex-serving and currently serving.

Wishing you peace, joy and happiness for Christmas. Hoping you and your whānau
have an enjoyable festive season, with happy times spent with family and friends.
For those separated from their families or having to work, keep them close in your

Hoping you also have a good New Year. May 2020 be a prosperous year for you
and yours, but more importantly, bring you good health.  If you are travelling over the break, take care and stay safe.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Gary Houghton

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By Neal Catley

First, the Association commentary [11/12/2019] on ‘What is a Veteran” is endorsed.

My earlier ‘RECTUM REACH’ comment in the margins that MOVA will more than likely decide to release the outcome of his VAB interim report about mid-April 2020 was WRONG. What a relief! Although Christmas is just under two weeks away it was, to most ex-service personnel, a welcome surprise to read that MOVA, after holding it CLOSE TO HIS CHEST for SIX months, [for God only knows what reason], decided to release his VAB interim report [of 28 June 2019] into the public arena on Tuesday 10 December. It’s a fascinating read. Notwithstanding that, the VAB deserve high praise for their collective effort[s].

It is noted, at MOVA’s direction, like a perpetual carbuncle on an elephant’s backside, that there’s still much work to be done. Hurrah! Hurrah! What a ‘THUNDERCLAP COMMUNIQUE!’ In simple terms, following another farcical lengthy intermission, the VAB is now to forward their preliminary final report to the Office of MOVA by 31 JULY 2020. This. Is. Not. Normal.

Surely, no right-thinking New Zealander would disagree to establishing a New Zealand Defence Force Covenant between service people and the Government. Let’s be upfront about this! It’s a NO BRAINER! It seems nonsensical to the core that we now have to have a conversation [Quasi Referendum] with New Zealanders about the possibility of establishing such a Covenant. NZ spends Billions of Dollars on Defence personnel, plant and machinery. Has there ever been a time that MOD/NZDF has had to have a conversation [Quasi Referendum] with New Zealanders prior to procurement? Surely, one could be forgiven for thinking this unprecedented waffle is nothing more than a Mega Sea Anchor. And, we all know the reason[s] for that type of action!

Who knows how long it will be before the VAB’s final report is released into the public domain? Perhaps, to lighten things up, in the spirit of OPENNESS and TRANSPARENCY, it might be worthwhile running a ‘Michael Mouse’ 2020 CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR HAMPER raffle on the Month/Date/Day/Time when the Coalition Government, [Codename: MOVA] are likely to approve the recommendations of both the Paterson and VAB report in order to bring NZ veterans’ benefits and entitlements into the 21st Century and in line with the Commonwealth Five Eyes community.

By the way, there’s NO need to Buckle Up your Seat Belt or get excited about such things just yet. As to determine: ‘What is a Veteran and how is New Zealand going to recognise that Veteran,’ is likely to be floating around in the ETHER for a long time yet.

In the meantime, have an enjoyable Christmas with your family and friends and may the New Year bring ex NZ service personnel and veterans the long-awaited benefits and entitlements you all so richly deserve.

“So,” asks Santa. “Have you been a good boy this year?”

“No,” replies the APOLITICAL Minister “I’ve been an idiot and a plonker.”

“Still,” said Santa. “At least you’re not likely to have a salary cut.”


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The Commissioning of HMS PRINCE OF WALES

A little bit of pomp and ceremony.  Well worth a look Click HERE

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What is a Veteran?

The Government have released the Veterans Advisory Board (VAB) Report on What is a Veteran and how will New Zealand acknowledge a Veteran.  Click HERE to read the full report which was provided to Government on 28 June 2019.

The Minister of Veterans Affairs also released a media report which can be read HERE.

So What is a Veteran?  We still do not know. However, we will need to be prepared to engage the VAB when they spend the next six or so months talking to New Zealanders.  So take the time to read the report.

Call me a cynic, but I cannot understand why this step in the process has been initiated.  It would appear that this Government cannot make a decision based on what is fair and implemented by all our Commonwealth friends and allies.  Are we in New Zealand so different from those Service and Ex-Servicemen and women of other nations? or have our Commonwealth brother and sisters got it all wrong. I think not.  If it comes down to money then this Government has had no compunction about spending and if a Serviceman or woman needs support for the Service they have provided to their country then the country will need to dig deeper into their pockets and provide that support.

Please be ready when the VAB call and let’s all provide them with the endorsement that is required to put this subject of WHAT IS A VETERAN to bed.

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Australian Operational Service Medal – Special Operations

The Australian Operational Service Medal (AOSM) – Special Operations recognises the service of Australian Defence Force members on special operations as declared by the Chief of the Defence Force from 1 November 2019.

Eligible Service

The AOSM – Special Operations recognises the service of Australian Defence Force members on special operations as declared by the Chief of the Defence Force from 1 November 2019.


The medal is a cupro-nickel medal finished in antique silver. The obverse bears an old-world stylised world globe signifying global operations, interlinked with a Federation Star. The globe is surrounded by the words ‘AUSTRALIAN OPERATIONAL SERVICE MEDAL’.

The reverse bears a central horizontal stylised scroll with the words ‘Defending Australia and its national interests’, overlaying a wreath of mimosa, above which sits an hour glass motif signifying the ongoing vigilance and timely response of Defence.


The ribbon is black with a central thin red stripe. The black represents the non-conventional conduct of special operations, while the single red stripe represents danger, strength and the great sacrifices made by recipients in defence of Australia.


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Jack Passings – December 2019

The following Sailors ‘Crossed the Bar’ during the month of December 2019. Details of funerals etc can be found by clicking HERE.

SPAIN John Cook
FORD, Walter James (Wally) ABSEA

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