It is with deep regret that the Australian Defence Force announces that Lance Corporal Todd John Chidgey died in a non-combat related incident in Afghanistan on 1 July 2014.
Lance Corporal Todd Chidgey was serving with a Protective Security Detachment providing protection for a senior Australian officer at Headquarters International Security Assistance Force Joint Command.
Lance Corporal Chidgey is survived by his mother, father, brothers and partner.
Twenty-nine-year-old Lance Corporal Chidgey was born in Gosford, New South Wales, in 1985. He joined the Australian Army in March 2006 under the Special Forces Direct Recruiting Scheme and on completion of his initial employment training, was posted to the then 4th Battalion (Commando), The Royal Australian Regiment, now the 2nd Commando Regiment, in September 2006. Lance Corporal Chidgey deployed on six tours to Afghanistan ranging from two weeks to six months.
Lance Corporal Chidgey's colleagues in the 2nd Commando Regiment have described him as a brilliant bloke to know and work with, who was loyal to the core and would do anything for his mates. A consummate professional and a dedicated soldier, Lance Corporal Chidgey was one of the hardest working members of the Regiment, who never sought recognition or reward.
Lance Corporal Chidgey has received the following honours and awards:
- Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT)
- Afghanistan Campaign Medal
- Australian Service Medal with Clasp Counter Terrorism / Special Recovery
- Australian Defence Medal
- NATO non article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF
- Multiple Tour Indicator 3 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
- Soldiers Medallion
- Infantry Combat Badge
- Returned from Active Service Badge
During Lance Corporal Chidgey's service in the Australian Army, he deployed on the following operations:
- Operation Slipper (Afghanistan): May 2014 – July 2014
- Operation Slipper (Afghanistan): March 2014
- Operation Slipper (Afghanistan): October 2013 – November 2013
- Operation Slipper (Afghanistan): July 2012 – December 2012
- Operation Slipper (Afghanistan): February 2010 – July 2010
- Operation Slipper (Afghanistan): June 2008 – November 2008
Defence requests that media respects the family's request for privacy and compassion. Speculation about the circumstances surrounding Lance Corporal Chidgey's death is a cause of great distress for his family and friends.
The Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS) has commenced an investigation into the matter. This investigation will examine the evidence and establish the facts. Defence will provide further information when the investigation process is complete.
Statements and tributes
Kerrie Baker and Adam Chidgey, Lance Corporal Todd Chidgey's mother and brother
We will remember Todd as the consummate gentleman - a son and brother who was well mannered, loyal and always there for his family.
Todd would never forget a birthday and he was extremely generous. If you were his friend, he'd stick by you and he was a champion of the underdog. We can't say it enough. He was just so loyal and seemed to have been born mature.
During his teenage years Todd's passion was soccer, both as a player and supporter of Manchester United. He was very competitive and took his training seriously, which led him to play representative soccer for the Central Coast. While Todd didn't play rugby league, he took every opportunity to cheer on the Canterbury Bulldogs with his cousin Gareth.
Out of nowhere Todd decided to join the Army and the reason is still a mystery to us. But Todd had his heart set on joining Special Forces so he put his heart and soul into the selection process. We were proud that Todd's focus and determination led him to achieving his dream.
Todd enjoyed the discipline, structure and camaraderie of life in the army. We saw this first hand on Anzac Day this year when we attended a service with Todd at Holsworthy Barracks. The boys from his unit were so close, like brothers who clearly had respect for each other.
It was daunting when Todd came home to tell us he was heading back to Afghanistan, but we knew he was doing the work he loved and could not have been more proud.
As a brother Todd was both funny and devoted. As a child he would spend hours playing in the park with his older brother Paul and the younger Adam, much to his mother's delight. For Adam, Todd was sort of like a father and best friend.
Todd was very intelligent and willing to learn and he encouraged his younger brother to follow his example and constantly challenge himself with new goals.
We would like to take this opportunity to praise the 2nd Commando Regiment for the support they've given us during this sad time. They have become extended members of our family and our hearts are with them as we all deal with the loss of Todd.
We'd like to thank our family and friends who have been by our sides since we received the shocking news of Todd's death. Thank you also to the media for respecting our request for privacy.