The Victoria Cross awarded to Corporal Keighran was the first gained by the Royal Australian Regiment in its long and distinguished fighting history. Born in Nambour, Queensland, in 1983, Keighran joined the regiment in 2001. After service in East Timor and Iraq, he first went to Afghanistan in 2007. Three years later, he was part of a joint Australian Afghan National Army patrol that came under sustained attack by a strong force. The enemy fire, which came from different locations, was accurate and deadly. Corporal Keighran deliberately and repeatedly exposed himself in order to direct suppressing fire. From high points, he identified targets for machine-gunners and light armoured vehicles. He also drew attention away from a mortally wounded comrade (Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney) and, while under fire, set about clearing a landing zone for his evacuation. Throughout the long action, his bravery assisted the patrol to return accurate fire and to successfully withdraw without further casualties.