NZDF

Ophir Local Made Chief Of Army

20 February 2013

CA
Chief Of Army - Major General Dave Gawn

Ophir local and former Dunstan High School student, Major General Dave Gawn, has been named as Chief of the New Zealand Army.

Minister of Defence Dr Jonathan Coleman announced today that Major General Arthur David (Dave) Gawn would command the New Zealand Army.

Major General Gawn has had a 35 year military career, beginning in 1978.

He has seen overseas service as Officer Commanding Kiwi Company at Santici Camp in Bosnia and as Commanding Officer NZ Batt 3 Timor-Leste. 

He has also held leadership roles here in New Zealand as Commander 3rd Land Force Group, Burnham Military Camp, Land Component Commander within Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand, and most recently as Commander of Joint Forces New Zealand. 

Major General Gawn was awarded a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1996 New Year’s Honours List, and in 2001 received a Force Commander’s Commendation for his role in Timor-Leste.

He says he’s looking forward to leading the New Zealand Army.

"Whilst growing up on a small farm in Ophir, being a professional soldier was the last thing on my mind. Thirty five years later, being given the opportunity to lead our Army is a little surreal. These are exciting and challenging times to be in a leadership role within Defence as we shape our future looking out to 2035 and I am honoured to serve the soldiers of Ngati Tumatauenga as their commander."

ENDS

 

For further information contact the Defence Communications Group, 021 487 980.

 

Biography - Major General Arthur David (Dave) Gawn, MBE

Major General Arthur David Gawn was born in Marton, New Zealand in May 1958 and was educated at Dunstan High School.

He enlisted into the New Zealand Army in August 1978 and was posted to 2nd 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR). He undertook initial officer training at the Officer Cadet School, Portsea in Australia and graduated into the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) as a Second Lieutenant in June 1980.

After a period of post graduate training and Platoon Commander experience at the Waiouru Training Depot, Major General Gawn was posted to the 2/1 RNZIR, Burnham Camp as a Platoon Commander in Alpha Company. In December 1981, he was posted to the 1st Battalion, RNZIR, Singapore as a Platoon Commander in Charlie Company and then as the Reconnaissance Platoon Commander.

In May 1984, Major General Gawn returned to New Zealand, posted as the Staff Officer Air and Special Duties on Headquarters Army Training Group, Waiouru. In December 1985 he was posted to Headquarters Land Force Command, Takapuna as the Staff Officer Grade Three Co-ordination. He was promoted to Captain in January 1987. In October 1987, Major General Gawn was posted to the 1st Ranger Company as the Officer Commanding. Due to Government cut-backs this unit was never fully manned and it was disestablished in late 1989.

Major General Gawn was posted to Headquarters Land Force Command as the Staff Officer Grade Three Peacekeeping in December 1989. In December 1990, he was posted as the New Zealand Instructor at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra. Major General Gawn returned to New Zealand in December 1992 to the 1st Battalion RNZIR at Linton Camp as a Company Commander. In September 1994 he was posted to NZFOR UNPROFOR as the Officer Commanding Kiwi Company based at Santici Camp, Bosnia.

Major General Gawn returned to New Zealand in March 1995 and shortly thereafter was posted to the United States to attend Staff College at Leavenworth. On completion of Staff College in June 1996 Major General Gawn was selected to attend the School of Advanced Warfighting at Quantico. He returned to New Zealand in June 1997 and assumed the appointment as Instructor, Tactical School, Waiouru. In January 1998 on promotion to Lieutenant Colonel he was posted to Development Branch, Army General Staff Wellington as the Staff Officer Grade Doctrine and Capability Development. He moved to Trentham in May 1999 when the Capability, Analysis and Doctrine (CAD) Cell was established.

In July 2000 Major General Gawn was posted to the New Zealand United Nations Transitional Authority as the Commanding Officer, the 3rd New Zealand Battalion Group. He returned to New Zealand in May 2001 and assumed the appointment of Joint Staff Officer Grade One Doctrine and Evaluation (J8), Joint Force Headquarters, Upper Hutt. While posted to the Headquarters Major General Gawn was promoted to Colonel and assumed the appointment of J3 Operations.

In December 2002 Major General Gawn assumed the appointment as Assistant Chief of Staff, Development Branch Army General Staff Wellington. In January 2005 he commenced study at the Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies. After completion of this course in December 2005 he was appointment as Commander 3rd Land Force Group, Burnham Military Camp. On 18 October 2007 he was promoted to Brigadier and became the Land Component Commander within Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand. In December 2010, Major General Gawn moved into Army General Staff as the Deputy Chief of Army. With effect 18 April 2011 Major General Gawn was promoted and assumed his current position of Commander Joint Forces New Zealand.

Major General Gawn was awarded a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1996 New Year’s Honours List. In May 2001, Major General Gawn received a Force Commander’s Commendation for his role in East Timor.

Major General Gawn is married to Anna and they have twin sons.

This page was last reviewed on 22 February 2013.