The Chief of the Defence Force congratulates Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith, VC, MG

The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Mar­shal Angus Hous­ton, today con­grat­u­lat­ed Cor­po­ral Ben­jamin Roberts-Smith on being award­ed the Vic­to­ria Cross for Aus­tralia.
Speak­ing at the Investi­ture Cer­e­mo­ny at Camp­bell Bar­racks in Perth, Air Chief Mar­shal Hous­ton said Cor­po­ral Roberts-Smith had brought great cred­it to him­self, the Aus­tralian Army, the Spe­cial Air Ser­vice Reg­i­ment and the Aus­tralian Defence Force.

“Today, we in the mil­i­tary feel great admi­ra­tion and respect for the extreme val­our shown by Cor­po­ral Roberts-Smith and we are hon­oured to call him one of our own,” Air Chief Mar­shal Hous­ton said.

“In choos­ing to serve our nation, the men and women of the Aus­tralian Defence Force dis­play courage, ini­tia­tive and self-sac­ri­fice every day. But in Afghanistan on the 11th of June 2010, Cor­po­ral Roberts-Smith went far beyond what we would ordi­nar­i­ly expect.

“In the most dan­ger­ous and demand­ing of sit­u­a­tions – when his patrol was out­num­bered and his life and the lives of his mates were under extreme threat – Cor­po­ral Roberts-Smith cast aside con­cern for his own safe­ty. He placed his mates’ lives above his own.”

Air Chief Mar­shal Hous­ton said that with­in the mil­i­tary it was a mark of the utmost respect that all, no mat­ter their rank, salut­ed a Vic­to­ria Cross recip­i­ent.

“It is a great source of delight to me that, as of today, there are now two serv­ing mem­bers of the Aus­tralian Defence Force I have the great hon­our to salute,” Air Chief Mar­shal Hous­ton said.

“Cor­po­ral Ben­jamin Roberts-Smith, VC, MG, we are enor­mous­ly proud of you.”

Chief of Army, Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Ken Gille­spie remarked on the tremen­dous humil­i­ty shown by Cor­po­ral Roberts-Smith.

“All Aus­tralian Sol­diers should feel tremen­dous­ly proud of the actions of Cor­po­ral Roberts-Smith, and the recog­ni­tion that the award of the Vic­to­ria Cross rep­re­sents. The val­our of his actions and those of the oth­er mem­bers of his patrol, are exem­plars of the very best in Aus­tralian sol­dier­ing,” Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Ken Gille­spie said.

“He is a sol­dier who embod­ies Army’s val­ues of Courage, Ini­tia­tive, and Team­work and the ethos of the Spe­cial Air Ser­vice Reg­i­ment. He is held in the high­est esteem by his peers, sub­or­di­nates and supe­ri­ors alike for his per­son­al attrib­ut­es and his pro­fes­sion­al­ism.

Cor­po­ral Roberts-Smith said he was hon­oured and hum­bled.

“I am so very proud to have tak­en part in the action with my mates. This award also belongs to them and to the Reg­i­ment,” Cor­po­ral Roberts-Smith said.

“To my fam­i­ly, my beau­ti­ful wife Emma and our baby girls, Eve and Eliz­a­beth, thank you for your endur­ing sup­port and encour­age­ment.”

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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