2011 ROTY Winner: LCPL Peter Archer
The Defence Force’s Reservist of the Year title has been won by Lance Corporal Peter Archer from Wellington, who is currently working at Ernst and Young as an accountant since graduating with a BCom (Accounting) and a BSc (Zoology) from Otago University.
Lance Corporal Archer competing in the pistol shooting section
LCpl Archer took out the competition which pitted representatives of the 11 major Army, Navy and Air Force Reserve units from North Cape to Bluff against each other in a test of military skills held in Wellington on Saturday.
The contestants were assessed on their performance in a series of military tasks including weapons handling, first aid and physical fitness, as well as having to perform in a public speaking competition.
LCpl Archer has been a member of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment Territorial Forces since 2006, has deployed on operation to both the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste and has received the NZ Operational Service Medal and Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal for his service overseas. He has also deployed to Christchurch twice in support of the Defence Force contribution to earthquake assistance for both the September and February quakes.
He notes, “I joined the Reserves during university after I became bored with doing the same thing week after week. I wanted to do something that would be both challenging and out of the ordinary.
“The best thing I have done is by far my two deployments with the Army. In particular in East Timor, training with the Australians doing live fire section FIBUA (Fighting in built-up area) drills,” said LCpl Archer.
Reservists are part time members of the military who, in addition to their full time jobs or study serve in the Army, Navy and Air Force in their spare time. The role of the Reserve Forces is to provide supplementary manpower to the New Zealand Defence Force as and when required for specific tasks. Many reservists take leave from their regular employment to serve on Defence Force operations in places like the Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and Afghanistan.
Defence Minister Wayne Mapp, the guest speaker at the award evening, congratulated the winner, place-getters and the other contestants on their achievements in the competition and elaborated on the importance of reservists and their actions over the past year.
“They are fine examples of the calibre of our Reserve Forces. Their performance demonstrates the skills that Reserves have. In addition to core military functions Reserves are able to assist with local emergencies and make a valuable contribution to the wider society,” he said.
“This was clearly demonstrated in the New Zealand Defence Force response to the Christchurch earthquake, in which reservists are still playing a significant role assisting local residents.”
“With the current high operational tempo we are asking more of reservists of all three Services. They are deployed to the four corners of the globe, some taking more than six months from their lives to undertake specialist training and deploy to hostile environments,” Dr Mapp said.
The Reservist of the Year award was presented by Mrs Joan Clouston the daughter of Sir Harold Barrowclough who was a reservist known for his conspicuous bravery and brilliant leadership during WWl and WWll.
Second prize went to Private Chris Miller of 2nd Health Support Battalion; and third prize went to Corporal Daryll Savage of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.