Warrant Officer Class One Brett Te Wheoro
7 July 2016
Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Brett Te Wheoro of 5/7 Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, can truly be called one of Wellington’s own when he marches with the 7th Wellington (City of Wellington’s Own) and Hawke’s Bay Battalion regimental colour party in the French military parade in Paris on 14 July.
WO1 Te Wheoro attended Rongotai College and is currently the Regimental Sergeant Major of 5/7 Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. He is responsible for the training and welfare of soldiers in his unit and is also the guardian of both the 5th Wellington, West Coast and Taranaki Battalion’s colours and the 7th Wellington (City of Wellington’s Own) and Hawke’s Bay Battalion’s colours.
Infantry colours are flags that symbolise the spirit of a regiment and include honours and badges granted for battles the New Zealand regiments have participated in since they were raised from as far back as the New Zealand Wars, says WO1 Te Wheoro.
“The 7th Wellington (City of Wellington’s Own) and Hawke’s Bay Battalion’s regimental colour is emblazoned with the French battle honours of Somme 1916, 1918, Bapaume 1918, Hindenburg Line, Sambre (Le Quesnoy) and France and Flanders, 1916-18.
“By parading our regimental colours we’re honouring the shared military history of France and New Zealand as well as former and current military personnel,” says WO1 Te Wheoro.
Regimental colours and banners representing New Zealand units that served in the First World War will be paraded by 86 New Zealand Defence Force personnel on the Champs-Élysèes during the parade – the first time these flags have been paraded together outside of New Zealand.
The French Bastille Day military parade is one of the oldest and largest military parades in the world. Bastille Day is a French national holiday and is commemorated across the country with military parades and celebratory activities.
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