Adam Friend is leaving his Nelson laboratory this month to serve as the Colour Bearer of the 2nd Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast Battalion Regimental Colour at the French Bastille Day military parade in Paris on 14 July.
Dr Friend, a plant scientist with Plant and Food Research, is also an officer in the New Zealand Defence Force Army Reserve, where he is a platoon commander with the 2/4 Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.
Regimental Colours and banners representing New Zealand units that served in the First World War will be paraded by 86 NZDF personnel on the Champs-Élysèes during the parade – the first time these flags have been paraded together outside of New Zealand.
Infantry Colours are flags that symbolise the spirit of a regiment and include honours and badges granted for battles the regiment has participated in since it was raised.
The 2nd Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast Battalion regimental colour is emblazoned with 21 battle honours, says Lieutenant Friend.
LT Friend trains in the Army Reserve with the support of his employer, Plant and Food Research. His day-to-day role within the Reserves is training personnel in preparation for exercises and deployments, and so far he has also been deployed to Timor Leste, the Solomon Islands and to Christchurch after the 2011 earthquake.
Nelson soldiers Warrant Officer Class Two Durham Quigley, Staff Sergeant James Flack and Sergeant Gareth Edgley will also march in the Colour Party escorting the battalion’s Colour.
Bastille Day is a French national holiday and is commemorated across the country with military parades and celebratory activities.