Caption: President of Singapore S. R. Nathan congratulates Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae with his Distinguished Service Order (Military) in Singapore this weekend.
30 May 2011
The former Chief of Defence Force of the New Zealand Defence Force, Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae, was conferred Singapore's highest military award, the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) [Distinguished Service Order (Military)], by the President of Singapore S. R. Nathan this weekend.
The DSO (M) award is one of the most senior in the Singaporean Honours System and is usually awarded only to heads of defence forces (or equivalents) of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) nations and those with which Singapore has close military ties.
Sir Jerry is only the second New Zealand Officer to be awarded the DSO (M). The previous award was made to Air Marshal Sir Bruce Ferguson in 2006.
The medal was awarded to LT GEN Sir Jerry Mateparae for his outstanding contributions to forging excellent defence ties between the NZ Defence Force and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), and enhancing the close friendship between New Zealand and Singapore.
LT GEN Sir Jerry Mateparae played an invaluable role in promoting greater bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the two armed forces. Under his leadership, interactions between the NZ Defence Force and the SAF expanded in breadth and depth. These interactions have greatly enhanced the professionalism, mutual understanding and personal friendships between the officers and men of the two armed forces. LT GEN Sir Jerry Mateparae also provided unstinting support to the SAF’s training in New Zealand, and played a significant role in facilitating the SAF’s deployments to Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan, in partnership with the NZ Defence Force.
LT GEN Sir Jerry Mateparae will be knighted by The Queen this week and will begin his five year term as Governor-General on 31 August, succeeding Sir Anand Satyanand.