2010 Warr/Khan Trophy Winner



8488029 Corporal Tavis Gerald Smith enlisted in the Australian Army on the 27th of January 2004. After completing recruit training he was allocated to the Royal Australian Infantry. After completion of Initial Employment Training at the School of Infantry he was posted to the 5/7th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment on the 24th of July 2004. After initially completing time within a Rifle Company, Corporal Smith was quickly identified as a strong soldier and was subsequently selected to serve with Mortar Platoon.

In November 2006, Corporal Smith deployed to Iraq with Overwatch Battle Group (West) - 2 as a Section Second-In-Command. After returning from Iraq in June 2007, Corporal Smith completed the Officer/Non-Commissioned Officer Mortar Course. In September 2008 he was deployed to Timor-Leste as a part of Timor-Leste Battle Group – 5, and was made a substantive Corporal on the 1st of January 2009. Since returning from Timor-Leste in June 2009, Corporal Smith has been employed as a Mortar Section Commander. Upon returning from Timor-Leste in June 2009, Corporal Smith immediately began the task of assisting his chain of command to return Mortar Platoon to an operationally ready capability. Corporal Smith's ability to understand the higher level requirements of battalion training needs led him to volunteer to attend the School of Artillery to instruct on a Basic Mortar Course. Corporal Smith's performance whilst in this position was nothing short of exemplary. He displayed the highest standards of instructional ability and worked tirelessly to ensure that all students were able to meet the training requirements. On multiple occasions Corporal Smith sacrificed his own limited free time to provide additional counselling and retraining to soldiers on the course without prompting from his chain of command. His exceptional performance as an instructor on this course resulted in Mortar Wing requesting his services as an instructor for subsequent courses. Upon completion of this course, Corporal Smith returned to the Battalion and immediately began instructing on the 5th Battalion run Basic Mortar Course. Again Corporal Smith's performance as an instructor on this course was exemplary. He demanded the highest standards from his subordinates, and delivered enthusiastic instruction. During the field phase of this course Corporal Smith's dedication to duty and impeccable standards set an example for both students and staff and his ability to provide realistic and enthusiastic instruction added enormous value to the course. Upon completion of this course Corporal Smith then single handily instructed over 60 students on five individual week-long courses on the newly introduced to service M32 Lightweight Handheld Mortar Ballistic Computer. His proficient instruction during the courses led to their success and his ability to qualify this many students greatly increased the operational capability of the 5th Battalion. In addition to these undertakings, Corporal Smith consistently used his experience in the field of mortars to assist in the mentoring and guidance of his platoon headquarters. His guidance greatly enhanced the platoon's effectiveness. 2 In early 2010 Corporal Smith adopted the role of the acting Platoon Sergeant. Corporal Smith was able to take on this added responsibility with ease and quickly adapted to this role. Corporal Smith's performance whilst fulfilling the role of the acting Platoon Sergeant was exemplary and well above the standard expected from someone of his rank and experience. Whilst assisting the Platoon Commander and Mortar Line Officer in preparing members of Mortar Platoon for operations with Mentoring Task Force – 2, Corporal Smith also again deployed to Mortar Wing to instruct on a Basic Mortar Course in April 2010. On return from instructing Corporal Smith significantly contributed to the planning and execution of a 22mm NICO shoot at Kangeroo Flats Training Area, and has consistenty been observed to be motivated and enthusiastic whilst assiting with training the platoon for operations. Corporal Smith's performance as a Mortar Section Commander and instructor throughout the second half of 2009 and during 2010 has been of the highest standards, and in keeping with the finest traditions of the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. He is a worthy winner of the Warr-Khan trophy for 2010.

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