NZ Army Officer first Kiwi to receive NATO Medal

8 July 2009, Brussels: LTCOL Jeremy Ramsden is awarded the NATO MSM by Secretary General Jaap de Hoops Scheffer. Photo credit: NATO
NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer with LTCOL Ramsden. (WN 09-0026-41)

10 July 2009 

The first ever NATO Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) to be awarded to a New Zealander was presented to Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Ramsden, MNZM at a special ceremony in Brussels, Belgium.

LTCOL Ramsden, from Petone, was presented with his medal by NATO Secretary-General His Excellency Mr Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, at a North Atlantic Council meeting.

The medal was awarded to LTCOL Ramsden for outstanding service while he was working for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was deployed for six months as the Deputy Chief of Plans on the ISAF HQs, spending some eight weeks as the Acting Chief of Plans.

His medal citation commends his superior leadership and example, stating that “he was extremely proactive, pursuing excellence to ensure the quality and tempo of his branch’s work. He focused on maintaining momentum and the Commander’s intent as multiple command and staff changes occurred, in an often tumultuous environment.”

While in Afghanistan he implemented a combined planning framework with the Afghan National Security Forces. Without hesitation, he developed this into a partnering arrangement which he championed at the HQ ISAF staff level, requiring remarkable resilience and diplomacy to implement.

LTCOL Ramsden said he was honoured to receive the medal, “but it belongs to my wife and kids, they made the sacrifice, this was my fourth operational tour.”

The NATO MSM was first awarded in 2003 to commend military and civilian personnel for providing exceptional and remarkable service to NATO, be it through acts of courage in difficult or dangerous circumstances, exceptional leadership or outstanding individual contributions.


Currently 853 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are deployed on 14 operations, UN missions and defence exercises in 10 countries around the globe.

For further information or to interview LTCOL Jeremy Ramsden please contact Capt Zac Prendergast, Defence Communications Group, 04 5296 031 or 021 806 926.

This page was last reviewed on 29 November 2011.