A change at the top for Maritime Component Command

Photo of Commodore Martin

Photo caption: Photo of Commodore Martin

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

After nearly two years as Maritime Component Commander- in charge of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s fleet - Commodore Ross Smith will relinquish command to Commodore John Martin at an impressive change of command ceremony.

The Change of Command Ceremony is traditionally formal - designed to strengthen the respect for authority which is vital to any military organisation.

The ceremony will be held at 1030am on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at the Devonport Naval Base.

In a ceremony to be witnessed by the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Tony Parr, invited guests, defence personnel, families, friends, an armed guard and platoons of Naval personnel,  command will change in the following order:

With the words spoken by Commodore Martin, “I have the Maritime Component Command” which are traditionally used to signify the change of watch. The outgoing Maritime Component Commander responds with “You have the Maritime Component Command”.


Born in Dunedin and educated in Wellington, Commodore Martin joined the RNZN in 1979 and was promoted to the rank of Midshipman in January 1980. 

From December 1981 until September 1988 he served in a number of RNZN ships fulfilling the normal range of functions of bridge watch keeper, Anti Submarine Aircraft Controller Instructor and frigate navigator.  An early highlight was an attachment to USS SOMERS (DDG 34) with the US Pacific Fleet.  Between October 1988 and March 1992 he completed a Lieutenant’s Staff Course at Royal Navy College, Greenwich, a Principal Warfare Officers’ course and a Towed Array course.  Exchange appointments included Operations Officer, HMS ALACRITY (F174), Divisional Officer, Britannia Royal Navy College, Dartmouth and a staff appointment to Commodore Amphibious Warfare. 

Following his return to New Zealand, a number of operational appointments followed on the staff of the Maritime Commander, New Zealand.  In March 1993 he was posted to HMNZS WELLINGTON as Operations Officer.  In December 1994 he was appointed as Staff Officer Current Operations on the staff of the Maritime Commander, New Zealand and then stood by the HMNZS TE KAHA in build as Executive Officer.  He was appointed Commander Initial and Professional Training, and Head of the Officer Training School at the Royal New Zealand Naval College in December 1998.

From 2001 until August 2003, Commodore Martin commanded HMNZS TE KAHA and undertook a number of operational deployments to Australia, South East Asia, China, Korea, Japan and the Gulf of Oman for OEF MIO.  Thereafter he was appointed Director Naval Capability Requirements on the staff of the Chief of Navy in August 2003.

He was appointed Inspector General of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) on the staff of the Chief of Defence Force and promoted to Captain in March 2004.  Between December 2006 and November 2008 he held the posts of Chief Staff Officer - Joint Plans and Chief of Staff at Headquarters, Joint Forces New Zealand. Thereafter, he held the role of Assistant Chief of Navy (Capability) before participating in the amalgamation of the single service capability divisions into a joint staff and taking up the role as Director Capability Working Groups within Capability Branch, NZ Defence Force.

He was promoted to Commodore and appointed as Maritime Component Commander on the 24 March 2011.

Commodore Martin is a graduate and fellow of the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies (Canberra), has a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business and Administration.  He is married to Susan and the couple occasionally enjoy the company of three adult sons. He is a enthusiastic fly fisherman who also enjoys walking and sailing.


Media are welcome to attend the Change of Command Ceremony at the Devonport Naval Base. Photographic Identification is required for entry to the Naval Base. 

Please contact Lieutenant Sarah Campbell - Media Adviser- Navy on 021 244 0638 for further information.


This page was last reviewed on 22 March 2011.