Talk:Ben Roberts-Smith

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Image[edit]

There is an official photograph of Roberts-Smith with his VC here. Is it possible to use this uner fair use guidelines as per File:Mark Donaldson VC 19-01-2009 fair use claimed.jpg? -- Mattinbgn (talk) 05:18, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I think so. The circumstances would be similar, i.e. it is most unlikely that a free image of the subject wearing the decoration and uniform is available given that he is a current serving member of the SASR, thus it would seem that the non-free image would not be replaceable. I might be wrong, though, so it is probably best to get a couple of opinions. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 06:08, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Agree, the rationale would be the same. –Moondyne 06:26, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Ok I've added it now. Would be most greatful if someone would be able to review the fair use rationale and make any necessary changes in case I muffed it. Thanks in advance. Anotherclown (talk) 07:13, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

The only issue with the rationale is the claim "... showing the recipient wearing the medal and was taken shortly after he was awarded it" The DoD photograph is dated 19 January 2011 and Roberts-Smith was awarded the VC on 23 January 2011. Either the photos with the medal were taken earlier (is that allowed?) or the DoD date for the photograph is wrong. -- Mattinbgn (talk)

Thats very observant. I didn't notice but now that you mention it of course I can see that you are right. Not sure what to do here as the DoD website says it was taken on 19 January 2011. My guess is that he was actually awarded it earlier, but wasn't presented it until today (23 January). That doesn't help I know. Anotherclown (talk) 07:44, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Well the image has all ready been tagged for deletion by the image police as apparently a free version were be easily available (yeah right). See File:Ben Roberts-Smith VC 19-01-2011 fair use claimed.jpg. Pretty miffed right now... Anotherclown (talk) 08:50, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I totally disagree with this deletion rationale. As far as I know, there is no way a free image could be obtained to replace it, short of breaking the law. AustralianRupert (talk) 08:58, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Under the Criteria for speedy deletion, any editor, other than the creator, who disagrees with the speedy deletion proposal can remove the tag. I have done so. Most likely then it will go to WP:IfD. -- Mattinbgn (talk) 10:03, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

The image is being considered for deletion here: Wikipedia:Files for deletion/2011 January 23#File:Ben Roberts-Smith VC 19-01-2011 fair use claimed.jpg. AustralianRupert (talk) 11:48, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Vision[edit]

There's a nice 2 minute news report from Channel 7 that's worth watching. One place you can see it is at http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/national/8697590/vc-recipient-wears-medal-for-his-unit/ Pdfpdf (talk) 10:23, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

(Wow! He's really tall!) Pdfpdf (talk) 10:23, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
A good line-out jumper, apparently :) -- Mattinbgn (talk) 10:29, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Honours and Awards[edit]

I've added a section for his honours and awards. I have not included the Meritorious Unit Citation - he is wearing it without Federation Star, therefore he was not in the unit during the time it was awarded and therefore he is only authorised to wear it while he remains in the SASR. This contrasts with the Unit Citation for Gallantry which he will wear in perpetuity as one of the members of the unit who contributed to its award. AusTerrapin (talk) 10:46, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Other photos[edit]

I've been searching for photos. So far I've only found one other site with any, and they are all from the Defence Image Library. As someone else above also asked: Where are all these free-use public domain photos please!

For what it's worth, here's what I found. The advantage of listing them is that, unlike the Defence site, these URLs may still work next week.

While I'm making lists, here are todays URLs at www.defence.gov.au - a much better selection, but no-doubt the URLs will have changed by the end of the week.

Also, here's Channel 10's 2 minute video - probably better than Channel 7's Pdfpdf (talk) 11:19, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Concerns with text[edit]

I see the article has been expanded, which is great but some of the expansion troubles me. Parts of the article read a little close to the text in the citation and the biography, to be verging on plagiarism. Some examples:

  • From our article: "He was again deployed with the SOTG in Afghanistan in 2007, and on his return was posted to Operational Support Squadron as a member of the Selection Wing where he took part in the training of SASR Reinforcements"
  • From the DoD: "He was again deployed with the SOTG in Afghanistan in 2007, and on his return was posted to Operational Support Squadron as a member of the Selection Wing where he took part in the training of SASR Reinforcements"
  • From our article: "As he approached the structure, Roberts-Smith identified an insurgent grenadier in the throes of engaging his patrol. Roberts-Smith engaged the insurgent at point-blank range resulting in the death of the insurgent. With the members of his patrol still pinned down by the three enemy machine gun positions, he exposed his own position in order to draw fire away from his patrol, which enabled them to bring fire to bear against the enemy"
  • From the DoD: "As he approached the structure, Corporal Roberts Smith identified an insurgent grenadier in the throes of engaging his patrol. Corporal Roberts Smith instinctively engaged the insurgent at point-blank range resulting in the death of the insurgent. With the members of his patrol still pinned down by the three enemy machine gun positions, he exposed his own position in order to draw fire away from his patrol, which enabled them to bring fire to bear against the enemy"

If we are going to quote the DoD site, that is one thing but we should be clear that that is what we are doing, through the use of quotation marks etc. and then we should be selective. To quote the source word for word and only acknowledge with an inline ref is not good enough IMO. -- Mattinbgn (talk) 19:56, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Agree absolutely. I placed the citations into a quotation box but am uncertain if the contents are full extracts or synopses. –Moondyne 00:36, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
The Medal for Gallantry citation is missing quite a bit and has received a tweak or two, but is ruffly copied. The Victoria Cross for Australia citations, however, although missing a couple of paragraphs at the begining and end, appears to be a direct copy of the actual citation. Full citations available here. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 00:42, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

I have removed the entire section on his military career, pre-Afghanistan. It is either a direct copy from the DoD or an extremely close paraphrase (see Wikipedia:Close paraphrasing) of the biography section here. We can't really rely on a fair-use quotation of this size for this type of material so this section will need a complete rewrite. -- Mattinbgn (talk) 01:26, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Military section now rewritten. It is basically from the same source, so I would appreciate some eyes over it please to make sure it avoids the same problems as above. -- Mattinbgn (talk) 08:28, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Including the DoD citations is presently probably the best way to go, for the present. As history dates, and books, journals, etc are written about the relevance of the two awards and Corporal Roberts-Smith, external sources can be sourced to provide more meaningful intrepretation. A good case in point is Tom Derrick VC. I was the one who paraphrased a fair chunk of the official citation and, had I known how, would have presented it in the appropriate format. Most media souces have swallowed the DoD line and it will take some years to provide a more realistic take on this citation; including its political significance. The article, prior to the citations, was lacking in any susbstance including detail on both acts of gallantry, his military background, the awards and honours and family history - as you would expect of an article created only a few days earlier. What is interesting is a similiar situation occured with Mark Donaldson VC a few years ago. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa Jherschel (talk) 11:20, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Good source for details on the VC engagement[edit]

This is a good article (with a picture of him in the field) describing the engagement in Roberts-Smith's own words. Battlefield mateship worthy of VC. -- Mattinbgn (talk) 08:31, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Comments on edits made on 28 May 2014 by Hamlet12[edit]

With 3RAR, Roberts-Smith was deployed to Rifle Company Butterworth in Malaysia twice and conducted two operational tours of East Timor.

The supporting reference ("Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith, VC, MG". Victoria Cross for Australia. Department of Defence, Commonwealth of Australia. 23 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011. ) does not confirm this.

He took part in hostage recovery operations and a number of personal security detachments in Iraq throughout 2005 and 2006.

No supporting reference.

In 2008 he was posted to the SASR selection wing where he took part in the selection and training of SASR reinforcements. He was posted to 2 Squadron in 2009 and reached the position of Patrol Commander before his discharge in 2013. He was deployed to Afghanistan on six occasions between 2006 and 2012.

a) No supporting reference / references.
(b) Pedantic comment: "between 2006 and 2012" means "from 2007 to 2011")

Ben was on his first operational tour of Afghanistan in 2006 when he was awarded the Medal for Gallantry for his actions as a patrol sniper in the Chora Valley.

a) He was awarded the Medal for Gallantry for his actions in 2006. I'm not sure when the medal was actually awarded.
b) Already mentioned elsewhere

It was his fifth tour of Afghanistan, ...

When were tours 2, 3 & 4? (With supporting reference(s) please.)

On his sixth tour of Afghanistan in 2012 Ben received the Commendation for Distinguished Service, this time for his leadership as a team commander and lead planner for the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG).

a) No supporting reference.
b) He received the commendation in 2014.
c) The commendation makes no mention of dates.

The Victoria Cross, together with the Medal for Gallantry and the Commendation for Distinguished Service make Ben the Commonwealth’s most decorated soldier from the war in Afghanistan.

No supporting reference.

Further information on Ben's military career can be found here: http://www.defence.gov.au/special_events/roberts-smith/

Already mentioned elsewhere.

Pdfpdf (talk) 07:26, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

The AWM profile on Roberts-Smith [12] states that his Commendation for Distinguished Service was awarded for his sixth tour in Afghanistan in 2012. The citation also mentions 2012, so safe to say the decoration arose from that tour/year. As for the Commonwealth's "most decorated soldier" from Afghanistan claim, that is recorded in Roberts-Smith's 'Celebrity Speakers' profile [13]. The latter also states Roberts-Smith's second tour of Afghanistan was in 2006 (the MG tour), and the VC action occurred in his fifth tour. Google found these sources quite rapidly, though not entirely sure about the other above claims. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 09:43, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

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