Corporal Daniel Alan Keighran VC was invested today as the recipient of Australia’s 99th Victoria Cross.
As Commander-in-Chief, the Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, pinned the historic medal on Corporal Keighran in the presence of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Minister of Defence, the Chief Justice of Australia, parliamentary representatives, the Chief of the Australian Defence Force and other senior personnel at an Investiture Ceremony at Government House, Canberra.
Corporal Keighran’s Official Citation reads:
For the most conspicuous acts of gallantry and extreme devotion to duty in action in circumstances of great peril at Derapet, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan as part of Mentoring Task Force One on Operation SLIPPER.
On 24 August 2010 Corporal Keighran of the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment was a member of a partnered fighting patrol with soldiers of the Afghan National Army’s 1st Kandak, 4th Brigade, 205th (Hero) Corps which was engaged by a prolonged, numerically superior and coordinated enemy attack from multiple firing points. Corporal Keighran, with complete disregard for his own safety, broke cover on multiple occasions to draw intense and accurate enemy fire to identify enemy locations and direct return fire from Australian and Afghan fire support elements. During one of these occasions, when his patrol sustained a casualty, he again, on his own initiative and in an act of exceptional courage moved from his position of cover to deliberately draw fire away from the team who were treating the casualty. Corporal Keighran remained exposed and under heavy fire in order to direct suppressing fire and then assist in the clearance of the landing zone to enable evacuation of the casualty. These deliberate acts of exceptional courage to repeatedly expose himself to accurate and intense enemy fire, thereby placing himself in grave danger, ultimately enabled the identification and suppression of enemy firing positions. In circumstances of great peril Corporal Keighran’s actions were instrumental in permitting the withdrawal of the combined Australian and Afghan patrol with no further casualties.
Corporal Keighran enlisted in the Australian Army in 2000. In 2001, he was posted to the 6th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR), where he served as a Rifleman in Delta Company. He later transferred to the Active Reserve in 2011. During his tenure with the Australian Army, he deployed on Operations CITADEL, CATALYST and SLIPPER.