Bradley Harris | Chief Petty Officer Master at Arms, NZ Defence Force.
How did you become involved with the NZ Defense Force?
I was working as a butcher in Oamaru and was not feeling challenged in my job. I went to the local recruiter looking into options of a career in the Armed Forced. Two months later I was on a plane to Auckland signing an oath to Queen and Country. I have now been serving 14 years, travelled to 38 countries including a land-based operation in central Afghanistan.
What was it that drew you to the military?
Family blood, my grandfather served for the Army during WW2. It was also the sense of adventure, imagining that every day would be different and never knowing what corner of the globe being in the Forces would take you.
When did you first come out?
I was serving in the Navy when I came out. I was incredibly scared… there was the fear of losing friends, being ostracised by my family, and losing respect at work. I was dating another guy in the Navy at the time so we decided to ‘come out’ together. All of the fears I had never amounted to anything and I found a huge sense of relief. I could now be the real me.
Would you recommend a career in the Navy?
One day you can be conducting Fire Arms training and throwing grenades, the next on boarding a foreign vessel suspected of trafficking, the next playing war games on-board a warship. Waking up to a day that is always different, challenging and with a great group of friends. I would recommend the Navy to anyone who wants a life less ordinary.
Outside of work, describe your perfect day?
It would have to be a weekend away in summer at a batch near the beach with close friends, good food and a nice bottle of pinot noir.
Where are your favourite gay spots in NZ?
Uretiti beach is always great over the New Year and [Auckland Anniversary] long weekend. The beach is amazing. It is also great that LYC provides umbrellas, deck chairs, sporting equipment and condoms.
Describe your perfect partner:
He challenges me intellectually, a great listener, career focused, driven, charming and mischievous. I’m lucky enough to have found him; Stephen and I have been together for 5 years now.