Rhys Jones (soldier)

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Richard Rhys Jones
New Zealand Army Major General Richard Rhys Jones USACGSC 2010.jpg
Major General Rhys Jones in 2010
Born (1960-05-02) 2 May 1960 (age 54)
Timaru
Allegiance  New Zealand
Service/branch New Zealand Army
Years of service 1978 – 2014
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held
Awards Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Lieutenant General Richard Rhys Jones CNZM (born 2 May 1960) was the Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force from 2011 to 2014. He was replaced by Tim Keating.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Jones was born in Timaru, the son of Methodist minister Alan Jones and the youngest in a family of nine,[3] six in his immediate family plus three half-brothers including writer Owen Marshall Jones.[4] He is a former pupil of Wanganui Boys' College.[5]

Career[edit]

Jones enlisted in the New Zealand Army in December 1978, and attended the Royal Military College, Duntroon in Canberra from 1979 to 1982, graduating as a Bachelor of Arts, having majored in politics.[4] In December 1982, he entered the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps as a lieutenant. He then spent nine years at Waiouru Army Camp followed by ten years intermittently in Australia. He was posted to the Middle East as an observer with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation, and with the Observer Group Lebanon as an operations officer.

Jones is a 1992 graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, and was inducted into the USACGSC International Hall of Fame in October 2010.[6] He attended the higher defence college at the Australian Defence College, completed a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies at La Trobe University, and has a Diploma in Qualitative Futures.

In 2000, he had "some disagreements with the chief of army at that time" over armoured vehicles, was sent away to Australia and told he would receive no further promotions, but was later brought back.[4] By 2005 he was a colonel at Burnham Military Camp.[7] Jones was promoted from brigadier to major general in October 2007 and appointed Commander of Joint Forces New Zealand after serving as the Land Component Commander.[8] On 1 May 2009, he succeeded Major General Lou Gardiner as the Chief of Army.[9]

Prime Minister John Key announced on 6 December 2010 that Jones would be the next Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, appointing him for a three-year term rather than the usual five in order to monitor progress in a major review of defence force spending.[1] The appointment commenced on 24 January 2011.[10]

Honours and awards[edit]

New Zealand Order of Merit ribbon.png

New Zealand Operational Service Medal ribbon.png UNIFIL Ribbon bar.gif UN Truce Supervision Organisation Medal ribbon.png New Zealand Armed Forces Award ribbon.png

New Zealand Order of Merit ribbon.png Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) 2014 New Year Honours[11]
New Zealand Operational Service Medal ribbon.png New Zealand Operational Service Medal
UNIFIL Ribbon bar.gif United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon Medal
UN Truce Supervision Organisation Medal ribbon.png United Nations Truce Supervision Organization Medal
New Zealand Armed Forces Award ribbon.png New Zealand Armed Forces Award

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "New boss for Defence Force". Television New Zealand. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "New Chief of Defence Force announced - National News". TVNZ. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Masters, Catherine (11 December 2010). "From toy soldiers to the real deal". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c "From Timaru boy to top brass". The Timaru Herald. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  5. ^ "Defence top job goes to 'local boy'". The Timaru Herald. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "International Hall of Fame Ceremony". Command and General Staff College. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  7. ^ Devereux, Monique (18 October 2007). "Army reviews driver training". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "Top rank for former Timaru man". The Timaru Herald. 18 October 2007. Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Timaru boy marches into army's top spot". The Timaru Herald. 2 May 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2010. 
  10. ^ New Chief of Defence Force welcomes his appointment - New Zealand Defence Force
  11. ^ Cabinet Office, Honours Unit. "New Year Honours List 2014". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae
Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force
2011–2014
Succeeded by
Lieutenant General Tim Keating
Preceded by
Major General Lou Gardiner
Chief of Army
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Major General Tim Keating