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An RAR soldier has been awarded Australia’s highest military honour for his valour in Afghanistan.

Corporal Keighran was awarded the Victoria Cross at a ceremony in Canberra for extreme bravery during the three-and-a-half hour battle in August 2012, which claimed the life of his fellow soldier Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney.

He is the third Australian to receive the VC for actions while serving in Afghanistan, but the first non-special forces soldier.

The citation read out at the ceremony said:

"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, again on his own initiative and in an act of exceptional courage, he moved from his position of cover to deliberately draw fire away from the team who were treating the casualty.”

Corporal Keighran, 29, said he was "extremely proud" to receive the honour, and paid tribute to his fellow soldiers.

"I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the boys with me that day. The support that they provided me was excellent," he said. “It's as much theirs as it is mine."


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Aussie soldier awarded Victoria Cross for drawing fire from comrades during ambush
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