Corporal Cameron Baird, VC, MG
Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird, VC, MG, first joined the Australian Army on 4 January 2000 and demonstrated an early aptitude for soldiering. After completing his initial training, he was posted to the 4th Battalion (Commando), Royal Australian Regiment (4 RAR (Cdo)), which was renamed the 2nd Commando Regiment on 19 June 2009.
Over the next four years, (then) Private Baird deployed to Timor-Leste (East Timor), Afghanistan and Iraq, before leaving the Army in July 2004. In September 2006, Private Baird re-enlisted in the Army and returned to 4 RAR (Cdo) at Holsworthy, NSW.
In mid-2007, (then) Lance Corporal Baird again deployed to Afghanistan and, during a Special Operations Task Group night-time operation in Uruzgan province over 22–23 November 2007, he was nominated and subsequently awarded the Medal for Gallantry ‘for gallantry in action during close quarters combat’.
On 22 June 2013, Corporal Baird was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan and leading his Special Operations Task Group team when he was killed during an engagement with insurgents in the Khod Valley, Uruzgan province.
On 13 February 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, MP, announced in the Australian Parliament that Corporal Baird would be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia for his actions on that day in the Khod Valley. Corporal Baird’s citation reads:
“For the most conspicuous acts of valour, extreme devotion to duty and ultimate self-sacrifice at Ghawchak village, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, as a Commando Team Commander in Special Operations Task Group on Operation SLIPPER.”
Corporal Baird’s parents, Mr Doug & Mrs Kaye Baird, were presented with the Victoria Cross for Australia by the (then) Governor-General, The Hon. Quentin Bryce, AC, CVO, during a ceremony at Government House, Canberra, on 18 February 2014.
Corporal Baird is only the fourth recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia and the first to receive it posthumously. He is the 100th Australian to receive the Victoria Cross since the award was first created by Queen Victoria in 1856.
Corporal Baird received the following honours and awards:
- Victoria Cross for Australia
- Medal for Gallantry
- Australian Active Service Medal with ‘East Timor’, ‘Iraq 2003’ and ‘International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT)’ clasps
- Afghanistan Medal
- Iraq Medal
- Australian Service Medal with ‘Counter Terrorism/Special Recovery (CT/SR)’ clasp
- Australian Defence Medal
- United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor Medal
- NATO Meritorious Service Medal
- NATO Non-Article 5 Medal with ‘International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)’ clasp and multi-tour indicator ‘3’
- Meritorious Unit Citation – Task Force 66 (Special Operations Task Group), Afghanistan
- Infantry Combat Badge
- Returned from Active Service Badge