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CDRE Melissa Ross, Deputy Chief of Navy



06 December 2019


In 1996, Melissa Ross broke new ground as one of the first women to serve on a warship on an operational mission.


On Friday 6th December 2019, she became the first woman in New Zealand naval history to achieve Commodore rank, and the first woman to be posted as Deputy Chief of Navy.


Commodore Ross, of Nga Puhi descent, was promoted at Te Taua Moana marae in Devonport. She then reported for duty at Devonport Naval Base, taking up her role as second-in-command of the Royal New Zealand Navy. Her family, from Hokianga in Northland to Kawerau, Bay of Plenty, where she grew up, attended the ceremony.


Photo: CDRE Melissa Ross, Deputy Chief of Navy


Sailor of the Year 2019

Acting/Leading Seaman Combat Specialist Sione Latu


16 October 2019


The Sailor of the year award recognises exceptional performance among junior rates, and the significant contribution they make to our navy in achieving our mission


2019's award winner is Acting/Leading Seaman Combat Specialist (A/LSCS) Sione Latu who joined the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) in October 2008 as an Ordinary Seaman Combat Specialist. A/LSCS Latu has developed into a quietly influential member of the RNZN and is an embodiment of the core values and qualities expected of the modern sailor. He is a natural leader who often prefers to exercise influence in the background rather than leading from the front.


A/LSCS Latu is described as 'consistently exceeding the expectations of his rank", evident in his initiative and undertaking of additional roles while delivering training and support for numerous ceremonial events at a level of a much senior sailor. His leadership, integrity, self-confidence and belief in himself is demonstrated in his courage to do what he believes is right and accepting responsibility for what needs to be done, regardless of the size or complexity of the task.


A/LSCS Latu is an exemplary sailor who continually demonstrates commitment to his trade, the Navy and the wider NZDF. For his readiness to commit and contribute selflessly to the Royal New Zealand Navy, A/LSCS Latu was awarded the Chief of Navy Commendation for Sailor of the year 2019.


Photo- A/LSCS Latu receiving the Sailor of the Year award from the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor.



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