Daniel KeighranVictoria Cross Recipient, Author of 'Courage Under Fire'

Daniel Keighran enlisted in the Australian Army at 17 and served his country full time for 11 years. Upon graduating from the School of Infantry he was posted to Delta Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) – A Company that is engraved in Australia’s military history for its involvement in Vietnam for the infamous Battle of Long Tan and more recently in Afghanistan with its contribution to the Battle of Derapet, a fierce and deadly firefight that would see Dan earn the Victoria Cross for Australia – The first and only Victoria Cross awarded to a soldier serving with the Royal Australian Regiment, a proud unit within the Australian Army established in 1948.

Daniel grew up on dirt floors with no electricity and would do his homework many nights by candlelight. In the small outback town of Lowmead, Queensland, this skinny teenager would assist on his parent’s paint and quarter horse farm. Dan enlisted into the Australian Army immediately after completing High school on the 5th of December 2000 and completed recruit and infantry training to be posted as a rifleman to 6RAR based at Enoggera in Brisbane all before his 18th Birthday.

Having joined the Army during a very high operational period, Dan, over the next nine years, would deploy on operations to East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, work internationally on exercises with militaries of other nations,  and conduct a number of specialist courses to be promoted to the rank of Corporal and in command of an Infantry Section.

In February 2010, Dan again deployed on Operation Slipper to Afghanistan with his original Company, Delta Company. On the 24th Aug 2010 his patrol was under fire by a numerically superior insurgent force. After receiving a friendly casualty, Dan Keighran acted on his own initiative to take decisive action to turn the tide of battle. This decision would see him risk his life and purposefully draw enemy fire to himself and away from the rest of the members of his patrol who were treating the casualty. This firefight and Dan’s actions would continue for over three hours. The citation for the Victoria Cross reads ‘For the most conspicuous acts of gallantry and extreme devotion to duty in action in circumstances of great peril’.

In 2011 Dan discharged from full-time Army service and commenced work in the mining industry. Initially working in exploration drilling throughout Western Australia and then as an underground shotfirer (blaster) in a gold mine outside of Kalgoorlie. In 2015 Dan returned to his home state of Queensland and completed his Master of Business Administration at QUT. Dan Currently works within the Defence Industry sector as an Account Manager with Thales Australia. 

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