Victoria Cross recipient to transfer to the Army Reserve
1 October 2013
Victoria Cross recipient, Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, VC, MG has today announced that after 17 years of service with the Australian Regular Army, he is transferring to the Army Reserve.
Corporal Roberts-Smith, of the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR), made the decision to transfer to the Army Reserve to focus on further education, and will commence a Master of Business Administration part-time at the University of Queensland in 2014.
“It has been a great honour to serve my country for the last 17 years,” Corporal Roberts-Smith said.
“I have been extremely privileged to serve alongside some of the best men and woman in Australia.
“My time within the Special Air Service Regiment has been the highlight of my military career and I will always look back on my service without regret, and proud to be able to count myself among their number.”
“Having been fortunate enough to achieve my goals within Defence, I have decided that now is the right time to pursue other opportunities including further education, which is something I have always been keen to do.
“I look forward to continuing to serve in the Army Reserve and to supporting our servicemen and women, their families and the wider Defence community.
“I would like to thank the Army and the Australian Defence Force for the opportunities this career has given me; and the Australian public for their support over the past few years.
“Most of all I would like to thank my wife Emma and our daughters Eve and Elizabeth; none of the experiences I have had would have been possible without their support.”
Corporal Roberts-Smith, the 98th Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, will continue to undertake representational duties at official events, however will scale back these commitments to concentrate on his degree and to establish a civilian career.
The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO, today thanked Corporal Roberts-Smith for his 17 years service in the Regular Army.
“Ben represents the best of the Australian soldier and has been a wonderful ambassador for the Australian Army,” Lieutenant General Morrison said.
“He has been a significant part of Army’s contemporary history and since being awarded the Victoria Cross in 2011, is the ADF’s most highly decorated serving member.
“Although he is leaving the Regular Army, Ben will always be part of the Army family and we look forward to his continued service in representational duties as a Victoria Cross recipient.
“The skills Ben will gain through civilian education and work interests will ultimately benefit himself, his family, the Army and the Australian community.
“On behalf of the Army, I thank Ben for his service, and his wife Emma and daughters Eve and Elizabeth for their support.”
Commanding Officer of the SASR, Lieutenant Colonel G (identity protected), said Corporal Roberts-Smith’s service reflected his commitment to the SASR.
"Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith has made a significant contribution to SASR capability since his selection in 2003,” Lieutenant Colonel G said.
“For almost a decade he has faithfully served his country and the SASR in a period of continuous and unprecedented operational tempo.
"His awards for valour in Afghanistan are testament to his fierce determination and his absolute commitment to the profession of arms, in keeping with the SASR Ethos that all Regimental members uphold.
“On behalf of the unit, the Regimental Sergeant Major and I wish Ben, Emma and the girls all the best, as the family embarks on the next stage of life."
Corporal Roberts-Smith enlisted in the Australian Army on 11 November 1996 and was posted to 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, before successfully completing the SASR selection course in 2003. Over the past decade with the SASR Corporal Roberts-Smith has deployed multiple times to South East Asia, Fiji, Iraq and Afghanistan.
For his actions carried out within Tizak, Afghanistan, he was invested by Her Excellency the Governor-General of Australia with the Victoria Cross for Australia on 23 January 2011.
Corporal Roberts-Smith is currently on long service leave from the Australian Army and is expected to transfer to the Army Reserve with effect from mid October. As a Reservist, he will be posted to Army Headquarters and will also maintain links to the SASR.
Corporal Roberts-Smith will continue to support the Defence community through a range of charitable roles including as Ambassador for the Special Air Service Resources Fund, Patron of the Australian Defence Force Theatre Project and Ambassador for the White Cloud Foundation.
For Corporal Roberts-Smith’s personal biography and citation visit: http://www.defence.gov.au/special_events/roberts-smith/
For images of Corporal Roberts-Smith visit: http://images.defence.gov.au//fotoweb/
Defence Media Operations: 02 6127 1999