Australian Commandos Receive Decorations
CPA 316/06 Sunday, 26 November 2006
Australian Commandos Receive Decorations For Gallantry
The Governor-General His Excellency MAJ GEN Michael Jeffery, AC, CVO, MC, joined with Prime Minister of Australia the Hon John Howard, MP, the Hon Dr. Brendan Nelson, MP and the Chief of the Defence Force ACM Angus Houston AO, AFC, to welcome home Eastern Australia-based members of the Afghanistan Special Forces Task Group (SFTG) in a ceremony at Tobruk Lines, Holsworthy Barracks today.
The soldiers, predominantly from the Sydney-based Fourth Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (Commando) (4RAR(Cdo)), formed part of the 200-personnel strong SFTG operating in Southern Afghanistan since late last year.
During the ceremony the Governor-General and Prime Minister praised the professionalism and courage of the SFTG who were involved in some of the most ferocious fighting since the Vietnam War during their 12-month deployment to Afghanistan.
The dangers faced by the SFTG were highlighted by the presentation of Australia’s first Star of Gallantry and a Medal for Gallantry to 4RAR(Cdo) members by the Governor-General.
Commando Sergeant “A” and Commando Corporal “B” were decorated for gallantry in recognition of their outstanding actions, leadership and bravery in Afghanistan.
During the awards presentation the Governor-General praised the actions of the two soldiers and described them as being “in the highest traditions of the Special Operations Command-Australia, the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.”
The Governor-General also announced the awarding of a Unit Citation for Gallantry to combat elements of the SFTG, whilst the Task Group as a whole has been awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation. These awards will be formally presented at a later date.