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Object: Desert Disruptive Pattern Material uniform

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Title Desert Disruptive Pattern Material uniform
Production New Zealand Defence Force (commissioner), early 2000s, New Zealand
Whitehead Productions (manufacturer(s)), early 2000s, New Zealand
Materials cotton, polyester, plastic, metal
Classification military uniforms
Credit line Gift of Corporal B.H. Apiata, VC, 2012
Registration number GH017487

This combat uniform was worn by Corporal Willie Apiata, VC of the New Zealand Special Air Service (NZSAS) in Afghanistan during 2004. In that year he saved the life of his colleague when under enemy fire in Afghanistan, and was awarded the Victoria Cross for New Zealand in 2007 for displaying the highest order of personal courage under fire.

The Victoria Cross was created by Queen Victoria in 1856 to recognise acts of gallantry in the presence of the enemy, by the members of the armed forces, regardless of rank.

The uniform is also an excellent example of a military uniform made from camouflage fabric: this particular design is called Desert Disruptive Pattern Material. Camouflage is designed to help the wearer blend into their environment.

New Zealand Special Air Service

The New Zealand Special Air Service was formed in 1955 and is a special forces unit of the New Zealand Defence Force, modelled on the British Special Air Service (SAS). Its key roles are to undertake overseas missions and respond to domestic terrorist attacks. The New Zealand SAS is held in high regard internationally, as demonstrated by the United States Presidential Citation which was awarded to the NZSAS in December 2004.

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Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.