From Sea Kayaking to Soldiering - The NZ Army's Top Recruit

29 June 2012

Private Gwynrydd Rees at the conclusion of his graduation

A former Abel Tasman National Park sea kayaking guide is the NZ Army’s latest Top Soldier.

Private Gwynrydd Rees of Motueka was named Top Recruit when 103 soldiers graduated from the All Arms Recruit Course at Waiouru Camp on Tuesday 26 June.

Private Rees (25), was also the top recruit in Crichton VC Platoon. He said he learned a lot about himself on the 16-week course, which he described as "amazing" and the most challenging thing he had done in his life.

The son of a Naval officer, he said he had always been interested in the military, particularly the Army, and enjoyed being in the bush "getting dirty", and working hard. "I’m really stoked to get the Top Recruit Award but I owe a lot to the guys who did the course with me. We all tried to help each other. I have made some great friends on the course"

Private Rees has been posted to Burnham Camp to complete his infantry corps training.

During the course the soldiers learned about the necessary skills to be employed as a soldier in the NZ Army, including field and battle craft, weapon training and shooting, first aid, physical training, close quarter battle, navigation and drill.

They demonstrated many of the skills to a large group of family and friends who gathered to be part of their graduation.

The graduation parade was reviewed by the Land Component Commander, Brigadier Mark Wheeler.


For more information and photos of the graduation, go to the NZ Army Facebook page at!/OfficialNZArmy

For more information contact Major John Gordon, Senior Comms and Media Advisor (Army) on 021 478 574.

This page was last reviewed on 29 June 2012.