CPL Cameron Baird, VC, MG.
Cameron Stewart Baird, VC, MG, was born in Burnie, Tasmania on 7 June 1981. In 1984, the Baird family moved to Gladstone Park, Victoria, where Cameron completed his primary and secondary education. He was a keen sportsman, particularly excelling at Australian Rules Football.
Corporal Baird enlisted in the Australian Army on 4 January 2000. After completing his initial employment training, he was in February 2000 posted to the 4th Battalion (Commando), The Royal Australian Regiment, now the 2nd Commando Regiment, based at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney, New South Wales.
Corporal Baird deployed on seven operations. In April 2001, the-then Private Baird deployed on Operation TANAGER (Timor-Leste). In February 2003, he deployed for the first time on Operation SLIPPER (Afghanistan), followed by Operation BASTILLE (Iraq) and Operation FALCONER (Iraq) in March 2003.
In July 2004, Private Baird resigned from the Australian Defence Force to pursue civilian employment. He returned to service in September 2006, where he was again posted to the 2nd Commando Regiment.
In February 2007, Private Baird was promoted to Lance Corporal. In July the same year, he deployed on Operation SLIPPER (Afghanistan). He was subsequently awarded the Medal for Gallantry, “for gallantry in action during close quarters combat” during an engagement.
In October 2008, Lance Corporal Baird achieved the rank of Corporal, subsequently deploying on Operation SLIPPER (Afghanistan) in February 2009 and again in July 2011. On both deployments, Corporal Baird served as a Team Commander.
Corporal Baird again deployed on Operation SLIPPER (Afghanistan) with the Special Operations Task Group in February 2013. It was during this deployment that Corporal Baird was killed in action by small arms fire in an engagement with insurgents in the Khod Valley, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan on 22 June 2013. For his actions in the Khod Valley, Corporal Baird has been posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia.
Corporal Baird is only the fourth recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia and the first to be awarded posthumously. He is the 100th Australian to receive a Victoria Cross since the award was first was created by Queen Victoria in 1856.
Corporal Baird is survived by his parents Doug and Kaye, and his brother Brendan.
Corporal Baird’s parents were invested with the Victoria Cross of Australia by Her Excellency the Governor-General of Australia at Government House, Canberra on 18 February 2014.
Corporal Baird has also been awarded the following honours and awards:
• Medal for Gallantry,
• Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp East Timor, Clasp Iraq 2003, Clasp International Coalition Against Terrorism,
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal,
• Iraq Campaign Medal,
• Australian Service Medal with Clasp – Counter Terrorism / Special Recovery,
• Australian Defence Medal,
• United Nations Medal with Ribbon United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor,
• NATO non article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF and Multiple Tour Indicator (3),
• Infantry Combat Badge, and
• Returned from Active Service Badge.