“We are extremely proud of his dedication to what he did; he believed in what he did and we hope to carry on the legacy [and] do what we think he would want us to do.” Kaye Baird.
“Cam was the mate that everyone wanted. He was the best at whatever he did and always made sure his mates were safe and happy. He was always much bigger than everyone else but essentially a gentle giant. At school Cam had a reputation that preceded him for his stature and sporting ability. All of his mates felt safe on his side of the playground”. A childhood mate.
Corporal Cameron Baird was a member of the Special Operations Task Group, 2nd Commando Regiment at Holsworthy Barracks, Sydney. Before being awarded the Victoria Cross, he had been awarded the Medal for Gallantry for an action in Afghanistan in 2007 when, while his unit was under heavy fire, he led other commandos forward to recover a mortally wounded unit member.
On 22 June 2013, Cameron’s commando unit was tasked to remove insurgents from Ghawchak village Afghanistan. The commandos landed at dawn and were immediately struck by fire. During the initial engagement Baird took charge in leading his team, managing to neutralise 6 enemy combatants. During the battle it became apparent that an adjacent Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) was receiving heavy enemy fire. Baird led his team to the area of the embattled SOTG in order to relieve the pressure they were under. Enroute to this engagement Baird and his men came under rifle and machinegun fire. Baird managed to neutralise the new threat through the utilisation of grenades and rifle fire.
On three separate occasions Cameron Baird charged at an enemy compound, firing at the building while exposing himself to enemy fire. During one of these attacks his rifle malfunctioned and he was compelled to temporarily withdraw and then re-enter the fray when his rifle stoppage was cleared. He then began firing through the door of the compound in an effort to suppress the enemy but to no avail. On the third attempt Corporal Cameron Baird assaulted the doorway again. The enemy was suppressed and his team gained the advantage however Corporal Cameron Baird fell during this engagement. As a result of his action she was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, “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”, Tony Abbott.
Cameron’s sacrifice will never be forgotten by Australia. Such men who place eternal ideals above their own personal safety deserve an undying respect from those who live under the umbrella of freedom they provide. We have a national obligation to never forget Cameron Baird VC MG or any other soldier who fought for Australia. Cameron’s actions give testament to our collective Australian and values.
One often wonders what characteristics and personal traits are required to be a member of an elite Australian military unit like the Commandos. No doubt, values such as loyalty as well as an indefatigable and intense love of country are prerequisites. Such values which are simultaneously universal and Australian in nature. As Australians we are all taught the necessity of being loyal to our nation and that treason is unbecoming of any person who wants Australian.
Just as we as we Australians honour heroes such as Cameron Baird VC MG we honour all Australians who fought in defence of our values and for our freedoms.
Lest we forget.
Cams Cause is a not-for-profit organisation that strives to honour and remember the life of Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG. To show support for this wonderful organisation visit the website to donate or purchase memorabilia in order to help ensure the memory of Corporal Cameron Baird VC
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