Wellington Local Rises to New Heights

7 June 2012

Graduates of the NZCF Officer Commissioning Course stand in front of the new NH90 helicopter at RNZAF Base Ohakea. PLTOFF Christensen front row, second from right.

Wellington local Pilot Officer (PLTOFF) Kate Christensen was one of 12 new officers who graduated from the New Zealand Cadet Force Officer Commission Course on 26 May 2012.

New Zealand Cadet Force and NZ Defence Force staff attended the graduation ceremony at RNZAF Base Ohakea.

Having been part of the New Zealand Cadet Force (NZCF) since 2004, PLTOFF Christensen was accepted to attend the commissioning course as a result of her years of commitment to the organisation. In her time with NZCF, PLTOFF Christensen has been a student on five promotional and leadership courses and returned as a staff member for a further four courses.

Course Director Squadron Leader Bruce Sinclair says the course is designed to teach and test to produce the very best officers.

"Around 25 percent of students have come up through the ranks and are on the course to give something back to the organisation which has given them so much. The course reinforces our core values of discipline, respect, integrity and loyalty in a supportive but challenging environment."

PLTOFF Christensen says the most challenging part of the course was definitely the leadership component. "As part of my assessment I had to deal with a first aid scenario with very limited resources and increasing numbers of 'casualties', leading a team of people you've only known for a few days who all have very different skills and needs was hugely challenging.

"But despite this, the sense of achievement when you've got the task done is just amazing."

Outside of the Cadet Forces PLTOFF Christensen works as a Member Advisory Officer at New Zealand Educational Institute, Te Riu Roa in Wellington.

She says that the NZCF has provided her with lots of great opportunities, including hosting international exchange cadets from Europe, to being the national youth representative for the National Commemorative Serice in Wellington on Anzac Day in 2009.

Following the course, the newly commissioned PLTOFF Christensen will return to her unit and take up the role of Advanced Flight Commander, organising tramps, camps, and flying activities for third year students in her Squadron.


For more information contact Defence Communications Group, Todd O'Hara on 021 186 4111.


Background info about the New Zealand Cadet Force:

The New Zealand Cadet Force (NZCF) are for both boys and girls aged 13 to 18. They comprise the Sea Cadet Corps, the New Zealand Cadet Corps and the Air Training Corps. It is a voluntary, disciplined, uniformed youth leadership training organisation.

The organisation is not part of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), but is directed by the Chief of Defence Force, on behalf of the Minister of Defence, and is supported in partnership by the NZDF and the community.

This page was last reviewed on 6 June 2012.