The Vice Chief of Defence Force, Air Vice Marshal Kevin Short, presents the Barraclough Trophy to Reservist of the Year Signaller Caleb Butcher.
4 October 2017
New Zealand Army Signaller Caleb Butcher, of Wellington, has overcome his rivals and added naval challenges to win the New Zealand Defence Force Reservist of the Year title.
He competed against 14 other part-time soldiers, sailors and airmen to win the Barraclough Trophy.
Signaller Butcher, who works in cyber security as a civilian, entered the competition because he wanted a challenge. He also wanted to represent his unit, Reserve Sigs, which does not usually take part in the annual competition, which is usually won by infantry soldiers.
The competition was held at the Devonport Naval Base, and this year involved a number of activities normally associated with sailors, such as man-overboard drills and seamanship, as well as fitness testss, weaponry skills and military knowledge.
Signaller Butcher trained hard for the competition, mainly in the gym, but also with hill sprints carrying a kettle bell.
“Knowing the competition was on Navy turf there was also a lot of swimming and treading water thrown in,” he said. “I didn’t really have much idea what each stand would be, so apart from working hard on my fitness I studied the military a lot, including weaponry, vehicles and key procedures such as first aid and safety.”
He loves the opportunities that being a Reservist presents.
“Not only do you get the chance to travel and work with weapons and technology, you get to experience things that aren’t available in the civilian world.
“You get intrinsic opportunities to develop as an individual. These have positive effects on my civilian life as an employee, a father and husband, and as a contributing member of society.”
The NZDF has 2355 Reservists across its three Services. They play an important role in augmenting the Regular Force, and bring a diverse range of skills to the military, as well as to their civilian employers.