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Sailor Who Goes The Extra Mile Wins Top Defence Force Award

30 November 2018

Delivering excellence in everything she does has earned Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) sailor Alicia Wall the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) 2018 Person of the Year award.

At the awards ceremony at the Battle Training Facility in Auckland, Chief of Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short said Leading Combat System Specialist Wall lived and breathed the NZDF’s core values of courage, commitment and comradeship.

“Leading Combat System Specialist Wall is a role model to her fellow sailors and the Defence Force, demonstrating that the ability to excel is bound only by one’s enthusiasm, compassion and willingness to make the effort and go that extra mile,” Air Marshal Short said.

“She is a sailor who continuously demonstrates professionalism, skill, enthusiasm and pride. She is an outstanding ambassador for our Defence Force.”

The Person of the Year awards are held to celebrate outstanding achievement in the NZDF. Individuals who have achieved in a range of areas, including safety, innovation, sport and volunteering, are considered alongside the reservist, civilian, sailor, soldier, and airman of the year.

Leading Combat System Specialist Wall is also the Sailor of the Year.

Air Marshal Short said Leading Combat System Specialist Wall had excelled as part of a team developing a new combat management system as part of the Navy Frigate Systems Upgrade for Anzac frigates HMNZS Te Kaha and HMNZS Te Mana.

The operation room support system fuses data provided by sensors on the warship, helping keep the ship safe from threats. Leading Combat System Specialist Wall will be operating the system once the Frigate Systems Upgrade on HMNZS Te Kaha is complete next year.

Air Marshal Short said Leading Combat System Specialist Wall had demonstrated the highest technical and professional skills in carrying out the work.

Leading Combat System Specialist Wall, who was unable to be at the awards event today because she is in Canada as part of the frigate project, said she was incredibly honoured to be recognised as the NZDF Person of the Year.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t be there today but I would like to thank my mum for accepting this award on my behalf. There are a lot of people who stand beside me and who have supported me, and for that I am truly grateful,’’ she said.

“Our role in Mission Support contributes largely to the success of the Frigate Systems Upgrade. I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given and am very humbled to be recognised on this day.”

Leading Combat System Specialist Wall was born on the North Shore of Auckland and attended Westlake Girls High School and Long Bay College.

After enlisting in 2009 she injured her hip in basic training and had to withdraw, re-joining in early 2011 for basic training and branch training, followed by deployments in Asia and the Pacific, and South East Asia.

In September last year she was promoted to Leading Hand and posted to the team developing the systems behind the Frigate Systems Upgrade.


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