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16 January 2009
Awarding of Victoria Cross to Trooper Donaldson

The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, congratulated Trooper Mark Donaldson as he became the first Australian in almost forty years to be awarded the Victoria Cross, Australia’s highest military honour.

The Victoria Cross is only presented to those who have displayed the most conspicuous acts of gallantry in action. There are only ten surviving recipients in the world today.

Trooper Donaldson’s actions under fire in Afghanistan resulted in ensuring the safety of other members of the combine Australian, Afghan and US forces, and ultimately saved the life of a coalition interpreter. He displayed exceptional courage in face of extreme danger.

Tradition holds that even the most senior military officers salute a Victoria Cross recipient, as a sign of respect for their act of gallantry.

Air Chief Marshal Houston said it would be his honour to salute Trooper Donaldson.