OT: Good Aussie Soldier :-)
Victoria Cross awarded to soldier who 'tore a Taliban fighter off his back
like an insect, stood on his throat and shot him dead.'
* By Ian McPhedran
* From: The Daily Telegraph
* January 21, 2011 12:00AM
THE brown dust from the departing choppers that carried the SAS squadron
south from their base at Tarin Kowt had barely cleared when all hell broke
It was October 2010, at the height of the Afghanistan fighting season, and
a large Taliban force had established numerous firing positions around
More than 24 elite Perth-based Diggers from the Special Air Service
Regiment were under withering fire.
Realising his mates were in grave danger, and with no regard for his own
welfare, the SAS Corporal charged headlong into the Taliban machinegun
The sight of the 202cm Australian warrior coming at them must have shocked
the bearded Afghans.
Within minutes three enemy guns had been silenced and numerous Taliban
fighters lay dead.
West Australian Ben, or "RS" to his mates, had taken out three machinegun
positions single handedly.
His comrades said it was the most extreme example of conspicuous gallantry
since Albert Jacka VC jumped into a trench full of Turks at Gallipoli in
1915, killing seven with his rifle and bayonet.
"He just tore into the enemy," one of his mates said.
"He is the epitome of the Spartan soldier. It was only a matter of time
before he would demonstrate his true ability."
Now the soldier - already awarded a Medal of Gallantry - will become the
latest to be awarded the nation's highest military honour, the Victoria
Cross For Australia.
"This guy is a warrior," one of his ex-colleagues said ahead of Sunday's
The battle that led to the honour came during an offensive in the Shah
Wali Kot area.
Signals intelligence had intercepted enemy "chatter" about a large group
of Taliban fighters moving to attack a combined force of commandos from
the Sydney based 2nd Commando Regiment and the Afghan National Army.
The SAS had been mounting helicopter-borne assaults throughout the
offensive, targeting Taliban commanders and bomb makers.
As soon as word came through, the troops from the squadron based at Camp
Russell near Tarin Kowt immediately mounted several US Blackhawk choppers
for the 15-minute flight into battle.
After landing the SAS took the fight to the enemy, but it was clear they
would falter unless the machineguns were neutralised. Step forward "RS",
the biggest man in the regiment by a fair margin.
"RS" joined the SASR in 2002 from the army's 3rd Battalion. He is a
specialist sniper and "assaulter" and a devoted husband and father of two
He was awarded a Medal for Gallantry in December 2006 for his courage
under fire in Afghanistan's Chora Valley in the same battle in which
Sergeant Matthew Locke, who was killed in action during 2007, won his MG.
During that fight, according to comrades, "RS" tore a Taliban fighter off
his back like an insect, stood on his throat and shot him dead.
By the time the battle was over about 60 Taliban lay dead from small arms
fire, hand-to-hand combat and close air support.
Ben's Victoria Cross will make him the most decorated Australian soldier
His good mate Rob Maylor, whose book SAS Sniper was released last year,
describes him as an outstanding soldier: "He has excelled as an operator
in the Regiment, and is also an SAS sniper, but his main calling is as an
assaulter and he is exceptional."
"As we weep for what we have lost, and as we grieve for family and friends
and we confront the challenge that is before us, I want us to remember who
We are Queenslanders.
We're the people that they breed tough, north of the border.
We're the ones that they knock down, and we get up again."
Re: Good Aussie Soldier :-)
Captain Peter Swallows quoted:
> "This guy is a warrior," one of his ex-colleagues said ahead of Sunday's
> investiture ceremony.
> his main calling is as an assaulter and he is exceptional."
I wonder how he settles disagreements at home.
Re: Good Aussie Soldier :-)
Peter copied and pasted:
> West Australian Ben, or "RS" to his mates, had taken out three machinegun
> positions single handedly.
"RS" for Ben? What do you suppose "RS" stands for?
> "He is the epitome of the Spartan soldier."
Oh, so he *is* homosexual.