COL Michael A. van Welie

Colonel Michael van Welie was born in Clyde, New Zealand, and received his secondary school education at Dunstan High School, Alexandra.

Colonel van Welie enlisted into the New Zealand Army in 1997 and completed officer training at the NZ Officer Cadet School in Waiouru before graduating into the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment in the rank of Second Lieutenant. In 1998 he was posted to 2nd/1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR) in Burnham.

At 2/1 RNZIR he assumed the appointment of Platoon Commander in Bravo Company, where he deployed to East Timor with NZBATT 2 on the United Nations Transitional Authority East Timor (UNTAET). He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in December 2000 and was posted to the appointment of Mortar Officer, 2/1 RNZIR where he again deployed to East Timor, this time with NZBATT 5. In 2003 he was posted to the appointment of Staff Officer Training at Headquarters 2nd Land Force Group, Linton. In March 2005 he was promoted to the rank of Captain, and he deployed with Task Group CRIB 6 to Afghanistan as a Patrol Second in Command.

In 2005 Colonel van Welie was posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1 RNZIR) where he filled several appointments as Company Second in Command Support Company, Victor Company and Whiskey Company. In 2006 he deployed to East Timor as the Second in Command of Victor Company on Task Group GYRO 2 under the International Stabilisation Force.

In 2009, Colonel van Welie assumed the appointment of Operations Officer, 1 RNZIR and was promoted to the rank of Major. In 2010 Colonel van Welie assumed the appointment of Officer Commanding Alpha Company, 1 RNZIR. During this posting he deployed again to Afghanistan as the Chief of Staff, New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team on Task Group CRIB 18.

In 2012 Colonel van Welie commenced study at the Australian Command and Staff College, Canberra. He graduated in December 2012 with a Master of Military Studies. On completion of Staff College, he was posted to the NZ Tactical School and held appointments as Instructor and Chief Instructor. In November 2014, on promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, he was posted as the Chief of Staff to the Deployable Joint Inter-Agency Task Force, Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand. In this post he deployed three times as part of the New Zealand Defence Force contribution to relief efforts following Cyclone Pam (Vanuatu 2015), Cyclone Winston (Fiji 2016) and the NZ Kaikoura earthquakes. In December 2016, Colonel van Welie assumed command of 2/1 RNZIR until May 2020. He attended United states Army War college in academic year 20/21, graduating with a Master of Strategic Studies and was subsequently posted to Deputy Commanding General, 25th Infantry Division, Hawaii.

Colonel van Welie is married with two children.