Benjamin James RANAUDO

RANAUDO, Benjamin James

Service Number: 8515121
Enlisted: 19 May 2006
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR)
Born: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 13 April 1987
Home Town: Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria
Schooling: St Joseph’s College, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Soldier
Died: Killed in Action, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, 18 July 2009, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Geraldton Afghanistan Honour Roll, Sale RSL Afghanistan Honour Roll, Townsville HB - 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Two Wells Afghanistan War Memorial, Victorian Garden of Remembrance, Yungaburra Afghanistan Avenue of Honour
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Non Warlike Service

19 May 2006: Enlisted Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, 8515121

Afghanistan Service

18 Jul 2009: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, 8515121, 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR)

Ben’s Story

22-year-old Private Benjamin James Ranaudo was killed when an anti-personnel explosive device detonated during a Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force operation near Tarin Kowt.
Private Ranaudo graduated from St Joseph’s College in 2004 before he joined the Townsville based 1st Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment.
Acting co-principal Max Caruso expressed condolences and deepest sympathies to the fallen soldier’s family, friends and classmates on behalf of the school community.
“Ben was a very caring and kind student whose cheeky grin made us all smile,” Mr Caruso said.
“He was an active member of our community and he will be sadly missed.”
Private Ranaudo’s family has asked the media to respect their privacy and will not conduct any interviews.
But in an online tribute, Private Ranaudo’s older sister Amy said her brother was brave, strong and loved by all who knew him.
“You are an inspiration to me, your strength and your heart will stay with me forever,” she said.
Ms Ranaudo’s thanked everyone for their thoughts and prayers.
“It’s great to see how much he was loved,” she said.
Private Renaudo’s younger sister Hayley-Rose said he was ‘the best brother’.
Girlfriend Haylee McCarthy said Private Ranaudo would be forever in her heart and mind.
“You’ve taken a bit of my soul with you bub,” she said.
“I really thought we were going to be together forever.”
Private Ranaudo’s uncle Jason Cherry said his nephew’s death was ‘an absolute tragedy’.
“You were a great little boy, who grew into a fine man with a great future,” he said.
Defence Force chief Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said Private Ranaudo died ensuring terrorist groups could not use Afghanistan as a base to plan and mount attacks.
Air Chief Houston described the Digger as ‘a professional soldier who served enthusiastically and with distinction’.
“His career record speaks to a young man, very well trained, with an extraordinary array of completed courses,” he said.
“Benjamin was clearly dedicated to his career as a soldier.”
Army chief Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie said Private Ranaudo’s sacrifice would never be forgotten.
Friends described Private Ranaudo as ‘the best bloke anybody could ever have the pleasure to know’, ‘a true hero to be remembered by all” and ‘a wonderful young man’.
“I remember you sticking up for me a few times when I used to cop it in primary school and I’ll never forget that,” one former schoolmate said.
An army comrade said ‘you make us proud to be Australian soldiers’.
A second Australian soldier was wounded in the blast that killed Private Ranaudo and was in a serious but stable condition following surgery.
Three Afghan civilians were also injured.
Private Ranaudo was the 11th Australian soldier to be killed on operations in Afghanistan. RIP Ben 1RAR

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Biography contributed by VWM Australia

VALE - Department of Defence

Private Benjamin Ranaudo was killed by an anti-personnel explosive device in Afghanistan on 18 July, 2009.

Private Ranaudo was a member of the Townsville-based 1st Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment. He was a member of the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force in Afghanistan and was killed while on operations north of Tarin Kot.

Private Benjamin Ranaudo enlisted into the Australian Regular Army on the 19th of May 2006. After completing his Recruit Training he was allocated to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps and commenced his Initial Employment Training at Singleton, New South Wales. At the completion of his Initial Employment Training in Nov 2006, Private Ranaudo was posted to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. During his service with 1 RAR, Private Ranaudo deployed to East Timor as part of Operation Astute, and to Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper.

After returning from East Timor in October 2007, Private Ranaudo completed the 1 RAR Basic Reconnaissance course and was posted to Reconnaissance Platoon in May 2008. As part of lead up training for Afghanistan in late 2008, Private Ranaudo completed a Combat First Aider course and a Protected Mobility Vehicle Drivers course. He deployed as a Rifleman with 2 Platoon, Combat Team A for Operation Slipper.

For his service in East Timor and Afghanistan, Private Ranaudo was awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with International Coalition Against Terrorism clasp, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Australian Service Medal with Timor-Leste clasp, Australian Defence Medal, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - International Security Assistance Force Medal, the East Timor Solidarity Medal, the Infantry Combat Badge and the Return from Active Service Badge.