Honours & Awards


Corporal Baird was an outstanding special forces soldier. He exemplified what it meant to be a commando, living by the attributes of uncompromising spirit and honour, which in turn earned him the unconditional respect of his fellow commandos. His leadership in action was exemplary, constantly inspiring those around him to achieve greater things. Corporal Baird was an extremely dedicated and disciplined soldier, always striving for excellence in everything he did.

Corporal Baird died how he lived – at the front, giving it his all, without any indecision. He will forever be remembered by his mates and the soldiers he served with in the 2nd Commando Regiment.

Corporal Baird has been awarded the following honours and awards:
(medals shown in picture left, from left to right)

Victoria Cross for Australia

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Australian Army
To be awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia (posthumous)
Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird MG

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.

Corporal Cameron Baird enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in 2000, was discharged in 2004, and re-enlisted in 2006. In both periods of service, he was assigned to the 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Commando). His operational service includes Operations TANAGER, FALCONER, BASTILLE and five tours on Operation SLIPPER. He was awarded the Medal for Gallantry for his service in Afghanistan in 2007-08.

On 22 June 2013, a Commando Platoon of the Special Operations Task Group, with partners from the Afghan National Security Forces, conducted a helicopter assault into Ghawchak village, Uruzgan province, in order to attack an insurgent network deep within enemy-held territory. Shortly after insertion, Corporal Baird’s team was engaged by small arms fire from several enemy positions. Corporal Baird quickly seized the initiative, leading his team to neutralise the positions, killing six enemy combatants and enabling the assault to continue.

Soon afterwards, an adjacent Special Operations Task Group team came under heavy enemy fire, resulting in its commander being seriously wounded. Without hesitation, Corporal Baird led his team to provide support. En route, he and his team were engaged by rifle and machine gun fire from prepared enemy positions. With complete disregard for his own safety, Corporal Baird charged towards the enemy positions, supported by his team. On nearing the positions, he and his team were engaged by additional enemy on their flank. Instinctively, Corporal Baird neutralised the new threat with grenades and rifle fire, enabling his team to close with the prepared position. With the prepared position now isolated, Corporal Baird manoeuvred and was engaged by enemy machine gun fire, the bullets striking the ground around him. Displaying great valour, he drew the fire, moved to cover, and suppressed the enemy machine gun position. This action enabled his team to close on the entrance to the prepared position, thus regaining the initiative.

On three separate occasions Corporal Baird charged an enemy-held building within the prepared compound. On the first occasion he charged the door to the building, followed by another team member. Despite being totally exposed and immediately engaged by enemy fire, Corporal Baird pushed forward while firing into the building. Now in the closest proximity to the enemy, he was forced to withdraw when his rifle ceased to function. On rectifying his rifle stoppage, and reallocating remaining ammunition within his team, Corporal Baird again advanced towards the door of the building, once more under heavy fire. He engaged the enemy through the door but was unable to suppress the position and took cover to reload. For a third time, Corporal Baird selflessly drew enemy fire away from his team and assaulted the doorway. Enemy fire was seen to strike the ground and compound walls around Corporal Baird, before visibility was obscured by dust and smoke. In this third attempt, the enemy was neutralised and the advantage was regained, but Corporal Baird was killed in the effort.

Corporal Baird’s acts of valour and self-sacrifice regained the initiative and preserved the lives of his team members. His actions were of the highest order and in keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.

Medal of Gallantry


Australian Army
Awarded the Medal for Gallantry
Lance Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird

For gallantry in action during close quarters combat in Afghanistan on Operation SLIPPER.

Lance Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird was part of a Commando Company mission assigned for clearance and search of a Taliban stronghold in November 2007. During the initial phase of the clearance, Lance Corporal Baird’s Platoon came under heavy fire and during the ensuing close-range fire-fight, a member of his team was mortally wounded. Displaying complete disregard for his own safety, Lance Corporal Baird led other members of his team forward under heavy fire from machine guns and assault rifles to recover the wounded team member back to a position of cover.

He then re-entered the compound and continued to engage the enemy. Even though under constant fire, Lance Corporal Baird continually moved amongst his team members coordinating their fire, and throwing grenades to neutralise the enemy machine gun positions. Once the close quarter battle had been won, Lance Corporal Baird again led his team forward and began room-to-room clearance, where he was again engaged by several enemy. Lance Corporal Baird continued to lead the fight, killing several enemy and successfully completing the clearance.

Throughout the action, Lance Corporal Baird displayed conspicuous gallantry, composure and superior leadership under fire. He was personally responsible for killing several enemy combatants during the clearance, ensuring the momentum of the assault was maintained, and undoubtedly preventing further members of his section from becoming casualties. His performance and his actions were of the highest order and were in the finest traditions of the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.

Australian Active Service Medal

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with clasps for EAST TIMOR, ICAT and IRAQ 2003

United Nations Medal

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with UNAMET ribbon for active service in Timor-Leste (East Timor)

NATO Meritorious Service Medal

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Friday 20 June, 2014

Is awarded to military and civilian personnel who have been commended for providing exceptional or remarkable service to NATO.

A year after he was killed in action, Corporal Baird’s family were presented with the posthumously awarded NATO Meritorious Service Medal, along with a replica set of medals.

The NATO Meritorious Service Medal, awarded by the NATO Secretary General, is presented to personnel who have been commended for providing exceptional or remarkable service to NATO. Corporal Baird was awarded the highest NATO award for the same courageous actions in Afghanistan in which he lost his life and received the Victoria Cross.

During the memorial service, a catafalque party of commandos formed around the plinth, which was previously used at Camp Russell in Tarin Kot to commemorate the members of the Special Operations Task Group who were killed in Afghanistan since 2002.

Commanding Officer 2nd Commando Regiment Lieutenant Colonel I said the service was significant for the regiment because it commemorated Corporal Baird’s life and his tragic loss.

“The award of the NATO Meritorious Service Medal is not given lightly and puts Cameron in the elite company of others who have been given the award,” Lieutenant Colonel I said.

“The day was also an opportunity for us to present his parents, Doug and Kaye, and his brother Brendan with a Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife, which epitomises the history and culture of the 2nd Commando Regiment.

“Cameron’s service will be a large part of the regiment’s history, particularly when it comes to Afghanistan.

“His personality and traits reflect very positively on our unit culture. Cameron was someone who set a standard for all of us to aspire to, which is his gift to us for perpetuity.”

Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson also attended the memorial service and presented the 2nd Commando Regiment with a replica of Corporal Baird’s M4 carbine, which is displayed in Canberra.

Lieutenant Colonel I said Dr Nelson had always been a strong supporter of the regiment.

“Dr Nelson has worked tirelessly in commemorating and memorialising our service and his visit to the unit is a reflection of just how much he cares,” Lieutenant Colonel I said.

“It was wonderful to welcome Cameron’s family here to take time out and reflect on Cameron’s life with his regimental family.

“Our regimental birthday is June 19, the anniversary of the 2010 Black Hawk crash in Afghanistan is June 21 and the loss of Corporal Baird is June 22, which means this week is significant for the Australian special forces community and an important time to reflect on our history and sacrifices.”