Skip to comments.Victoria Cross for SAS Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith
Posted on 01/22/2011 8:24:53 PM PST by naturalman1975
SAS Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith is Australias 98th Victoria Cross holder after the bronze cross with crimson ribbon was pinned to his chest by Governor General Quentin Bryce in Perth today.
During a formal investiture ceremony at the picturesque beachside headquarters of the SAS at Campbell Barracks, Swanbourne, Corporal Roberts-Smith became only the second Australian soldier to wear the Victoria Cross of Australia after Corporal Mark Donaldson who received the honour in 2009.
Before 1991 it was an Imperial Honour that was won by 96 Australians from the Boer War to Vietnam.
He is only the second Western Australian born holder of the VC after Private Tom Starcevich who received his honour for attacking Japanese machine gun posts Borneo during WW2.
The 32-year-old Perth born father of twin daughters was given the award for his conspicuous gallantry during a fierce six-hour battle in the Shah Wali Kot area of Northern Kandahar last October.
The 203cm tall man mountain, known to his mates as RS or Arse, single-handedly neutralised several enemy machine gun positions during the battle that left more than 60 enemy dead.
His Queensland-born wife Emma, their five-month-old twins witnessed the ceremony that also recognised the gallantry of several other soldiers from the elite Special Air Service Regiment.
Also attending were father Len, who is a retired Major-General and former Judge Advocate General of Defence and WA Supreme Court judge and younger brother Sam, a baritone with the Australian Opera, along with political and military leaders who all jetted in from eastern states and dozens of his SAS comrades.
Corporal Roberts-Smith's VC was awarded a Medal for Gallantry for another battle in the Chora Valley in 2006 and his VC makes him the most decorated Australian soldier in decades.
(Excerpt) Read more at heraldsun.com.au ...
Awesome! Thanks for posting!
Good on yah mate! CMOH Southern Hemisphere style!
Thoughts and Prayers for the displaced in Queensland!
Unbelievable! He’s got the Victory Cross and he is still alive! Few are actually hung on a chest, but rather given to the family.
great allies bump
The 203cm tall man mountain, known to his mates as RS or Arse,
single-handedly neutralised several enemy machine gun positions during
the battle that left more than 60 enemy dead.
Being an over-protected, over-weighted American civilian...
all I can say is that this soldier fits a complimentary term used
by my fellow juvenile males in small-town Oklahoma.
We are d-mned lucky to have such Allies.
PS: I saw a documentary on the “final test” for Australian infantry officers
on TV maybe 10-15 years ago. Hauling a hughmongus pack in beastly hot
Had to be as tough (or tougher) that what US elite trainees suffer.
I know it would simple kill me a few hours in.
This soldier reminds me of the scene in “The Right Stuff” when Chuck Yeager is
stumbling away from his wreaked (but altitude setting) Starfighter jet.
When the ambulance driver says to his passenger, seeing Yeager off
in the distance “Sir, is that a man?”
And the response is (IIRC) “You are D-MED RIGHT that’s a MAN!!!”
Kind thoughts for the folks suffering from floods in Australia.
We’ve lived through similar versions of this affiliction in Oklahoma and
Missouri. Albeit not at quite the same level of magnitude.
G-d Bless the folks suffering through this misery.
203cm = 6’8”
This one shows the entirety of Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC's address as she decorated Corporal Roberts-Smith as invested him with the Victoria Cross in her capacity as Governor General and Commander-In-Chief of the Australian Defence Force.
This second clip is shorter and the audio is not as clear but I like it for what it shows, and who it shows, and I'd just thought I'd add a few notes to make that clear.
00:00-00:08 seconds: The music as Corporal Roberts-Smith marches into position in front of the Governor General is The Happy Wanderer which serves as the quick-march for the Australian Special Air Service Regiment.
00:10-00:20 seconds: The Governor General pins on the medal.
The Governor General, by the way, is the representative in Australia of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, appointed by the Queen on the advice of her Australian Prime Minister. She is de facto Australia's Head of State in the absence of the Queen, and is under the Australian Constitution explicitly Commander-In-Chief of all Australian Forces. It is, mostly, a ceremonial position (the reserve powers exist for use in a crisis situation) and the person chosen for it is nowadays somebody who has given long and dedicated service to the nation.
00:20-00:28 seconds: Corporal Roberts-Smith sits down and kisses his wife, Emma. They have twin daughters, five months old.
00:29-00:31 seconds: We are given a close up of his ribbons. The ribbon of the Victoria Cross is actually obscuring the ribbon for the Medal for Gallantry he received for 2006, also for heroism in Afghanistan. But we can see the Australian Active Service Medal (which he has received three times - clasps EAST TIMOR, ICAT, IRAQ 2003 - this is awarded for service in war or warlike conditions), the Interfet Medal (a campaign medal awarded for service in East Timor), the Afghanistan Medal (a campaign medal for Afghanistan), then, obscured in the second row, the Iraq Medal (a campaign medal for Iraq), the Australian Defence Medal (for four years service in the Australian Defence Force), and then two 'foreign awards' - the UN Medal for East Timor, and the NATO Medal ISAF.
00:33-00:38 seconds: In accordance with the tradition that all members of the Defence Force, regardless of rank, will salute the Victoria Cross and the holder of a Victoria Cross, Corporal Roberts-Smith is saluted by Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC AFC, Chief of the (Australian) Defence Force. As well as being the highest ranking officer in the ADF (four star rank), ACM Houston is himself a decorated hero - his Air Force Cross was awarded for a very hazardous helicopter rescue at sea, so a salute from him, means something real.
00:39-00:48 seconds: Corporal Roberts-Smith is approached by and congratulated by Keith Payne VC, one of Australia's (as of today) three living recipients of the Victoria Cross, he received his medal in Vietnam.
00:49-00-00:59 seconds: Regimental Sergeant Major of the (Australian) Army Stephen Ward steps up to salute Corporal Roberts-Smith (who obviously has to get used to the idea that for the rest of his life, people are going to be saluting him). RSM-A Ward is the most senior NCO in the Australian Army.
1:01: We see RSM-A Ward shaking the hands of Corporal Roberts-Smith's father - Major General (Retd.) Leonard Roberts-Smith RFD QC, former Judge-Advocate General of the Australian Defence Force.
1:06: Corporal Mark Donaldson VC, who received his Victoria Cross in 2009 for service in Afghanistan steps up to shake Corporal Roberts-Smith's hand.
Australia's three living recipients of the Victoria Cross, Corporal Mark Donaldson VC, Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith VC MG, and Mr Keith Payne VC OAM.
Thank you for your good wishes. They are appreciated.
Thank you for your good wishes. They are appreciated.
Having grown up in Oklahoma, a territory of “Aboriginal” Native Indians
and outlaws, I’ve naively thought of Oklahoma and Australia moderately
similiar in a cultural way.
Tough and able to make an organized and civilized culture.
And still ready to “step up” and fight for freedom/liberty when the
circumstances required it.
Best wishes for all those enduring that nasty cyclone.
Sounds nastier than Katrina/New Orleans in 2005.
Before 1991 it was an Imperial Honour that was won by 96 Australians from
the Boer War to Vietnam.
Sadly, the vast majority of US citizens haven’t a clue that Australians
served along-side the US military in Vietnam.
I was clueless about this until Free Republic (and the internet) came along.