13 February 2014

The Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, has announed that a posthumous 'Victoria Cross for Australia' has been awarded to Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird serving with the Australian 2nd Commando Regiment.

Corporal Cameron Baird VC, MG.

Medal entitlement of Corporal Cameron Baird
2nd Commando Regiment, Australian Forces
  • Victoria Cross for Australia
  • Medal for Gallantry ( MG )
  • Australian Active Service Medal ( 1975- )
    • 3 clasps:
    • 'East Timor' - 'Iraq 2003' - 'ICAT'
  • Afghanistan Medal ( 2004 )
  • Iraq Medal ( 2004 )
  • Australian Service Medal ( 1975- )
    • 1 clasp:
    • "Counter Terroism / Special Recovery
  • Australian Defence Medal ( 2006 )
  • UNTAET Medal ( 1999 )
    • UN Forces East Timor
  • NATO Medal ( 2007 )
    • clasp: 'ISAF' ( Afghanistan )

It is notified for general information that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the award of the 'Victoria Cross for Australia' to: Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird MG

[ Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 18 February 2014 ], Ghawchak Village, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, 22 June 2013, Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird MG, 2nd Commando Regiment, Australian Forces.

On 22 June 2013 a Commando Platoon of the Special Operations Task Group, with partners from the Afghan National Security Forces, conducted a helicopter assault into Ghawchak village, Uruzgan Province, in order to attack an insurgent network deep within enemy-held territory. Shortly after insertion, Corporal Baird's team was engaged by small arms fire from several enemy positions. Corporal Baird quickly seized the initiative, leading his team to neutralise the positions, killing six enemy combatants and enabling the assault to continue.

Soon afterwards, an adjacent Special Operations Task Group team came under heavy enemy fire, resulting in its commander being seriously wounded. Without hesitation, Corporal Baird led his team to provide support. En route, he and his team were engaged by rifle and machine gun fire from prepared enemy positions. With complete disregard for his own safety, Corporal Baird charged towards the enemy positions, supported by his team.

On nearing the positions, he and his team were engaged by additional enemy on their flank. Instinctively, Corporal Baird neutralised the new threat with grenades and rifle fire, enabling his team to close with the prepared position. With the prepared position now isolated, Corporal Baird manoeuvred and was engaged by enemy machine gun fire, the bullets striking the ground around him. Displaying great valour, he drew the fire moved to cover, and supressed the enemy machine gun position. This action enabled his team to close on the entrance to the prepared position, thus regaining the initiative.

On three separate occasions Corporal Baird charged an enemy-held building within the prepared compound. On the first occasion he charged the door to the building, followed by another team member. Despite being totally exposed and immediately engaged by enemy fire, Corporal Baird pushed forward while firing into the building. Now in the closest proximity to the enemy, he was forced to withdraw when his rifle ceased to function. On rectifying his rifle stoppage, and reallocating remaining ammunition within his team, Corporal Baird again advanced towards the door of the building, once more under heavy fire. He engaged the enemy through the door but was unable to suppress the position and took cover to reload.

For a third time, Corporal Baird selflessly drew enemy fire away from his team and assaulted the doorway. Enemy fire was seen to strike the ground and compound walls around Corporal Baird, before visibility was obscured by dust and smoke. In this third attempt, the enemy was neutralised and the advantage was regained, but Corporal Baird was killed in the effort.

His actions were of the highest order and in keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.

The parents of Corporal Baird, Doug & Kaye Baird, were presented with their son's 'Victoria Cross for Australia' by Her Excellency The Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, at a ceremony held at Government House, Canberra, on the 18th February 2014.

[ Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, xx xxxx xxxx ], For the award of the Medal for Gallantry, Lance Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird MG, 2nd Commando Regiment, Australian Forces

Lance Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird was part of a Commando Company mission assigned for clearance and search of a Taliban stronghold in November 2007. During the initial phase of the clearance, Lance Corporal Baird's Platoon came under heavy fire and during the ensuing close-range fire-fight, a member of his team was mortally wounded. Displaying complete disregard for his own safety, Lance Corporal Baird led other members of his team forward under heavy fire from machine guns and assualt rifles to recover the wounded team member back to a position of cover.

He then re-entered the compound and continued to engage the enemy. Even though under consant fire, Lance Corporal Baird continually moved amongst his team members coordinating their fire, and throwing grenades to neutralise the enemy machine gun position. Once the close quarter battle had been won, Lance Corporal Baird again led his team forward and began room-to-room clearance, where he was again engaged by several enemy. Lance Corporal Baird continued to lead the fight, killing several enemy and successfully completing the clearance.

Throughout the action, Lance Corporal Baird displayed conspicuous gallantry, composure and superior leadership under fire. He was personally responsible for killing several enemy combatants during the clearance, ensuring the momentum of the assault was maintained and undoubtedly preventing further members of his section from becoming casualties. His performance and his actions were of the highest order and were in the finest traditions of the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.


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Iain Stewart, 18 February 2014