COL William (Bill) P. Keelan

Colonel Keelan enlisted into the New Zealand Army in January 1995 and commenced officer training at the Officer Cadet School, Waiouru. He subsequently graduated into the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, in the rank of Second Lieutenant.


Colonel Keelan was posted to the 2nd/ 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment in Burnham Camp from June 1996 to December 2001. While posted to the 2nd/ 1st Battalion he deployed to Bougainville as a Patrol Commander from May to August 1998. Then in May 2000 he deployed with the 2nd Battalion Group to Timor Leste as the Second in Command of Bravo Company. In December 2001 he was posted to The Royal Military College-Duntroon in Canberra as the New Zealand Captain instructor.


Returning to New Zealand in December 2003 he was posted to the 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment in Linton. Initially as the Adjutant and then in June 2006 after being promoted to Major, Officer Commanding Victor Company, deploying again to Timor Leste from November 2006 to May 2007. In 2008 Colonel Keelan completed the Malaysian Command and Staff College Course, in Kuala Lumpur.


From December 2008 to August 2010 Colonel Keelan held the appointment as the Chief Instructor NZ Army Combat School in Waiouru. He then deployed to Afghanistan as the Brigade Operations Chief in Uruzgan Province from September 2010 to June 2011. In the 2012 Australian Queens Birthday honours list he was awarded a Distinguished Service Commendation for his service in Uruzgan. On his return to New Zealand Colonel Keelan was posted to the Office of Strategy Management, Army General Staff.


From December 2012 to December 2014 Colonel Keelan held the appointment as the Commanding Officer 1st Battalion; Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. He was then the New Zealand Defense Advisor to Fiji before completing the US Marine Corps War College in June 2018. Following War College, Colonel Keelan deployed to Afghanistan holding the appointment as the CJ35 within the Resolute Support Headquarters.


Colonel Keelan is married and has three children.