February 22, 2024

Col E.H.Smith,DSO, MID

2389 Lieutenant Colonel Eric Harold SMITH

Distinguished Service Order (DSO)

Lieutenant Colonel Eric Smith graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in December 1944 and after staff and regimental appointments in Australia and overseas, he was appointed to raise and command the 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment in September 1965, arriving in South Vietnam with his unit in April 1967.


Lieutenant Colonel Smith led his Battalion through 12 months of operations in South Vietnam. During this period, he commanded his unit in 30 Battalion sized operations and in addition planned and supervised numerous Company and platoon sized tasks.


At all times, lieutenant Colonel Smith’s planning, co-ordination and supervision were of the highest order He at no time hesitated in exercising his command responsibilities, to go forward to where his sub units we in contact with the enemy. By so doing, he frequently exposed himself to danger without regard for his own safety.


By his professional competence, careful attention to detail and constant consideration for all members of the unit, Lieutenant Colonel Smith commanded a unit which, throughout its tour in Vietnam, distinguished itself in every operation in which it participated. His men possessed a fierce pride in their Battalion; a pride nurtured and inspired by their Commanding Officer whose rare combination of the qualities of leadership produced in his men a desire to excel, always.


Lieutenant Colonel Smith’s devotion to duty, outstanding leadership and professional competence have served as an inspiration to his men, and all who served with him, and reflect great credit on himself, his Regiment and the Australian Army.



Extract from: Vietnam Veterans Honours and Awards by Alexander M Palmer


4 thoughts on “Col E.H.Smith,DSO, MID

  1. I was born in1969,by the time I was old enough to start taking notice of what was happening in society the Vietnam war was gone, all there was was plaques on memorials,I became curious about this mystery war that no one talks about, some sort of dirty war that those who served in dishonoured the ANZAC tradition, I wanted to know what they did wrong & then I was going to make my own decision as to whether or not they trampled on the ANZAC tradition, all I found was the opposite, I feel like I stumbled into a cave full of treasure of national significance,it is treasure chest after treasure chest, some are individual efforts some are unit efforts, colonel Eric Smiths story is the biggest treasure chest at individual level,colonel Smith was the only battalion commander who was a veteran of world war 2,colonel Smith was the last of our world war 2 commanders to come through the officer ranks of the royal Australian regiment,when colonel Smith raised 7RAR it was to be a gift to the Australian people from our world war 2commanders who served in the infantry corps, it had to be a high performance machine,it was going to be their gift to the Australian people,WE ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE TO TRAIN YOU THEN LEAD YOU INTO BATTLE, AS A PARTING GIFT WE GIVE YOU THE 7RAR, IT IS A BEAST, IT IS THE PIG BATTALION,colonel Smiths mission was an outstanding success

  2. To 7RAR association,I have previously left comment on colonel Smith internet site,am very proud & privileged that this has been retained since Dec 2017,had I known it was a popular comment I would been more precise with comment.What Peter Brock was to Australian motor racing, colonel Eric Smith was to the Australian army,”IT IS ALL ABOUT VICTORY”,not only was colonel Smith the only battalion commander who was a veteran of world war 2 during our vietnam deployment, it is very likely he is the only officer in the history of the royal Australian regiment who has not only deployed as he has progressed through the officer ranks to commanding officer,but has deployed into a different theatre of warfare, as a lieutenant he saw out the final month of WWII in new guinea, as a captain he deployed to korea with 1rar, as a major he deployed to malaya with 2rar then as a lieutenant colonel he deployed to vietnam as CO of 7rar, colonel Smith was the complete commander, he had more victories than the other commanders

  3. It’s Troy again, I have one final comment, I am requesting on behalf of the Australian people a full page picture of colonel Smith on internet site, wearing his polyester uniform & medals before he retired from the army,it is to allow the Australian people to view their colonel Smith.Wouldn’t have been much room left on his chest with all his medals,he was the Peter Brock of the Australian

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