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Top Sailor Sets Course for Further Honour

Leading Chef Alexis Gray, Royal New Zealand Navy’s Sailor of the Year 2015.
 Leading Chef Alexis Gray, Royal New Zealand Navy’s Sailor of the Year 2015.

1 December 2016

A busy 12 months for Marlborough woman Leading Chef (LCH) Alexis Gray after being named the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Sailor of the Year in 2015 could culminate in further recognition: LCH Gray is the Navy’s nomination for the New Zealand Defence Force Person of the Year Award, to be announced on 8 December.

After starting 2016 with official duties at Waitangi Day commemorations, LCH Gray has represented the Navy at many events during its 75th anniversary year, including the recent International Fleet Review. She has also had a number of school speaking engagements as an NZDF Young Ambassador.

LCH Gray is the epitome of what a sailor of the Royal New Zealand Navy should be, says Chief of Navy Rear Admiral (RADM) John Martin.

“Since joining our Navy in 2009, LCH Gray’s conduct has been professional, respectful, proactive, strong-willed, energetic and hard-working.

“Even when the assigned tasks or days are challenging, she guides her shipmates to steer their own personal course, to help them learn how to get the satisfaction of achieving and maintaining the highest standards they are capable of,” says RADM Martin.

As Sailor of the Year, LCH Gray was awarded the opportunity of an overseas study tour in the United States. During her visit, she met senior American naval personnel in Washington DC and visited the Great Lakes Training Centre in Chicago to attend their graduation ceremony. She also visited Pacific Fleet Command in Hawaii and met the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet Command Sailor of the Year.

LCH Gray says she returned to New Zealand with a new appreciation of why she serves and the role she has in the Navy.

“It’s evident that New Zealand’s naval training is amongst the best in the world and our sailors are very competent.

“I am extremely proud to be a sailor in the Royal New Zealand Navy and honoured to have had so many experiences as Sailor of the Year,” LCH Gray says.


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