The service and sacrifice of Corporal Cameron Baird, VC, MG, was commemorated on 22nd June by soldiers from 2nd Commando Regiment, his family and friends at a service marking 10 years since his death.
Corporal Baird was killed in Afghanistan on 22 June 2013, while leading an assault against an insurgent stronghold in Ghawchak village, Uruzgan province. Corporal Baird charged an enemy-held position on three separate occasions during the assault.
Corporal Baird was honoured for his actions on that day, becoming the 100th Australian to be awarded a Victoria Cross.
Corporal Baird’s parents unveiled a plaque naming the unit’s conference centre in honour of their son.
Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Simon Stuart, AO, DSC, attended the memorial service at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney and met with Corporal Baird’s family.
“Cameron Baird embodied everything we expect of an Australian soldier,” said Lieutenant General Stuart.
“He demonstrated professional excellence and our values. He led his team by personal example and he seized the initiative on that day in Ghawchak, and made the ultimate sacrifice to achieve his mission and protect his mates.
“Corporal Baird was student of merit at recruit training, a Jonathon Church Good Soldiering Award recipient, and he was awarded the Medal for Gallantry, NATO Meritorious Service Medal and the Victoria Cross for Australia.
“Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird is an example to us all and we honour him by remembering his life, his service and his sacrifice. On behalf of our Army, I acknowledge his family and his friends, their loss and their grief.”
Born in Burnie, Tasmania, Corporal Baird grew up in Melbourne where he followed in his father’s footsteps playing Australian rules football for Victoria as a schoolboy and for the Calder Cannons as an amateur.
Corporal Baird’s father Doug played for the Carlton Football Club.
Corporal Baird joined the Australian Army in January 2000 after missing the AFL draft due to injury.
Commander of Special Forces Group, Brigadier Nathan Juchniewicz, said Corporal Baird’s legacy was an example to all in 2nd Commando Regiment and across Special Forces Group.
“Cameron Baird was proud of being an Australian Army Commando,” said Brigadier Juchniewicz.
“Everybody looked up to Cameron. He was humble and easy going. Professional. Commanders sought his opinion and his team gained confidence from his presence and his leadership.
“He died leading from the front, which is where he always wanted to be – alongside his mates and leading by example.”
Corporal Baird was 32 years old when he was killed in Afghanistan. He is buried on the Gold Coast, Queensland, where his parents, brother and nephews live.
Issued by Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT