On 11 June 2010, Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith undertook actions of extreme bravery and conspicuous gallantry during the conflict in Afghanistan for which he was subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for Australia.
While deployed on Operation SLIPPER, and during a helicopter assault into Tizak, Kandahar province, Roberts-Smith single-handedly stormed an enemy machine-gun position to capture or kill a senior Taliban commander. He entered into “circumstances of extreme peril” to selflessly and highly effectively secure the area for his infantry colleagues.
The VC is Australia’s pre-eminent award for acts of bravery in wartime and our country’s highest honour. Since its inception in 1991, only four Australian Army soldiers have received this award. With his Medal for Gallantry awarded during a tour of Afghanistan in 2006, the VC made Roberts-Smith the most highly decorated member of the Australian Defence Force.
After leaving full-time army duties in 2013 (but remaining a reservist), Roberts-Smith has gone on to:
- study an MBA at UQ
- become Chair of the National Australia Day Council
- become general manager of regional television network Seven Queensland and Seven Brisbane, and
- even record a rendition of “Lest We Forget” with Lee Kernaghan for Lee’s “Spirit of the ANZACs” album in 2015.
In early 2012, still-serving Cpl Roberts-Smith was gratuitously insulted during discussion on then Channel Ten morning chat show, The Circle. Public outrage compelled an apology, many sponsors walked and the show was wound up later that year.
Commemorate great Australian, Ben Roberts-Smith (VC), for his extreme acts of bravery and proficiency in the Afghanistan conflict by:
- toasting Roberts-Smith and his great service to our country
- if you are in or near Canberra, touring the Australian War Memorial and, in particular, the Hall of Valour
- visiting your local RSL for a drink or a meal, in honour of Ben and our other brave service men and women – both past and present
- listening to Ben’s Lest We Forget rendition with Lee Kernaghan
- browsing the web regarding our other VC recipients, and/or
- sharing this Action Plan post on social media with family, friends and fellow patriotic Aussies that appreciate such acts of selflessness and bravery to uphold our way of life.