Associate Minister of Defence Heather Roy today congratulated Lance Corporal Deborah Kendon on being named the first ever New Zealand Defence Force Reservist of the Year.
"A teacher at Auckland's Northcote College, LCpl Kendon was also the only woman competitor in this year's Reservist of the Year competition - although I am sure she will not be the last," Mrs Roy said.
Last night's award presentation was the culmination of a day in which 11 competitors from Army and Navy Reserve units throughout the country took part in a series of military challenges and activities.
"These included driving, weapons handling, observation, first aid and physical fitness at Trentham Military Camp in Upper Hutt. Contenders also gave a speech at a dinner held at Defence House.
"As part-time soldiers, Reservists live in two skins - their NZDF uniform and the civilian dress required for their full-time employment. They combine the best of both facets of their lives to make a unique contribution to both the NZDF and New Zealand society in general.
"The new NZDF Reservist of the Year award is fitting recognition of the contribution made by men and women who, in addition to holding down ful-time jobs, volunteer to do their bit for their country.
"I congratulate LCpl Kendon on her achievement, and also commend this year's other competitors for their dedication and skill," Mrs Roy said.