The life and death of Cameron Baird, VC, MG.
'Be ready for room-floor combat.'
These are the words Cameron Baird spoke after learning that one of his best mates had been shot in a Taliban-controlled village nearby. Between Baird and his injured friend were heavily armed Taliban, in a fortified position, ready to fight to the death. What unfolded on that June day in the dusty Uruzgan Province of Afghanistan was the final act of one of the most exceptional stories of modern Australian combat.
Born in Burnie and raised in Gladstone Park, Cameron Baird was one of Victoria's most promising young AFL prospects until, at age eighteen, he unexpectedly joined the Australian Defence Force. There he eventually earned a spot as an operator in the nascent 2nd Commando Regiment, now a special forces element equal to any in the world.
After tours of East Timor and Iraq and over four exhausting, violent rotations in Afghanistan, Cameron Baird would become a legend within the unit, earning the Medal for Gallantry and the Victoria Cross, the highest battlefield honour an Australian soldier may obtain. He would also become Australia's last battlefield casualty.