Dan Keighran joined the Australian Army on 5 December 2000. After completing recruit and initial employment training, he was posted to 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR).
While serving with 6 RAR, Dan deployed to Rifle Company Butterworth, Malaysia, in 2001 and 2004; Timor-Leste (East Timor) in 2003-04; Iraq in 2006; and Afghanistan in 2007 and 2010.
On 24 August 2010, during his second Afghanistan deployment, Dan was part of an Afghan and Australian fighting patrol engaged by a numerically superior and coordinated enemy force near the village of Derapet in the Uruzgan province of Afghanistan. For his actions on this day, Dan was subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia.
During a 3.5 hour engagement, Dan repeatedly exposed himself to heavy enemy fire to help in target identification and the treatment and clearance of one of his wounded comrades. He recalled assessing the risk before undertaking his action and says, “I don’t think what I did was really brave. It was what was required at the time”.
Dan attained the rank of corporal and remains an active member of the Army Reserve.