Lt. General Rhys Jones

Former Chief of Defense, NZDF

Lieutenant General Richard Rhys Jones, CNZM, is a retired senior New Zealand Army officer, who was the Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force from 2011 to 2014.

Jones enlisted in the New Zealand Army in December 1978, and attended the Royal Military College, Duntroon in Canberra from 1979 to 1982, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, having majored in politics. 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. 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.

Jones was promoted from brigadier to major general in October 2007 and appointed Commander Joint Forces New Zealand after serving as the Land Component Commander. On 1 May 2009, he succeeded Major General Lou Gardiner as the Chief of Army.

Jones was appointed as the next Chief of the New Zealand Defense Force for a three-year term in 2011. He was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the State in the 2014 New Year Honours, just prior to his retirement.

As of May 2017, he was appointed Chief Executive of Fire and Emergency New Zealand and commenced in this role with the organisation's establishment on 1 July 2017.

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