Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney

Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney

6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment

On 24 August 2010 Jared was part of a 35 strong Australian force from D Company 6RAR, mentoring Afghan National Army troops on a fighting patrol in Afghanistan.  The patrol deployed from forward base Anar Joy in the Tangi Valley in Uruzgan Province Afghanistan, about 20 kilometres west of Tarin Kowt. The troops engaged the Taliban at the village of Derapet and Jared was ordered to lead his men up a hill to set up a machine gun overlooking the combat zone.  During the engagement, Jared was fatally wounded by a single gunshot. Jared was on his fourth deployment which was his second to Afghanistan.

Jared was an outstanding soldier; he was very competitive and he set very high personal standards which shone throughout his military career. He was fearless to say the least and never let a moment pass him by.  His zest for life was nothing short of inspiring.

Jared William MacKinney was born in Calvary Hospital in Canberra on Friday the 21st of May 1982.  He was the first son of Jane Manyweathers and they lived in Canberra until he was 17 months old.  At the age of three and a half, Jane and Ian began their life together. In the years which followed, they were blessed with Jared’s brothers and sisters, Caleb, Meg, Charlotte and Jordan.  Jared lived with his family in Orange until he was 12 and he completed his early schooling at the Glenroi Heights Public School.

Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school

After leaving Orange, Jared and his family moved to the Ipswich area where he attended the Ipswich State High School and completed year 10 in 1998.  Jared was never a big fan of High School but that never affected his steely determination or approach to life or any of the challenges that came his way.

Jared played hockey between the age of 9 and 13 and he represented New South Wales in 1994.  After coming to Queensland, he played rugby league in Ipswich and then played senior football for the Beerwah Bulldogs after moving to Glass House Mountains.  He was also an extremely passionate supporter of the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school

In 1996 Jared joined the Air Cadets at Amberley and in his first year, he was recognised as Most Outstanding Cadet. 

Jared was always extremely adventurous. From a very young age, he was a natural climber who would literally climb anything and that didn’t change much as he became an adult. He was always searching for adventure and seeking out ways to get new thrills.  

Jared loved downhill mountain biking and took every opportunity to get out on his bike. His love for bicycles continued all his life, with his first serious bike costing him more than his first car.

Jared moved to the Glass House Mountains area with his family in 1998 and he took his first plunge into the workplace.  Jared started in a local fruit barn looking after stock and customer service and then he moved on to a camping shop.

He then moved to a large service station where he worked as a kitchen hand until his skills were recognised and he was offered better money working in another kitchen on the opposite side of the highway.  Jared could not stay away from the outdoors and it wasn’t too long until he started working for family friends in the landscaping industry.

He was never afraid of hard work and at one stage he was working with his dad Ian on a turf farm at the same time as he was landscaping.

Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school

On the 5th of February 2000, at the age of 17 Jared met Beckie who was 15 and both their lives changed forever.

From the minute they met they were destined to be together and it was just the beginning of what they thought would be the rest of their lives.

Jared was always destined to be a proud member of the Australian Defence Force.

From a very young age he was intent on following the footsteps of his pop and becoming a paratrooper.  As fate would have it, Jared was not meant to be a paratrooper, but undeterred, he enlisted in the Army on the 10th of September 2002 and successfully completed his recruit training at Kapooka later that year.

In 2003 he successfully completed his infantry training prior to being posted to the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.

In January 2004 Jared deployed on his first deployment to East Timor.

“He was like a kid about to get onto his first ever ride, he was trying to pretend that he wasn’t excited as he was leaving me behind, but he just couldn’t contain it…he was destined for this job!” Beckie

Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school

In October 2004 Jared drove to Glass House Mountains and very nervously sought his father in law’s approval to seek Beckie’s hand in marriage as this date was her 20th birthday. Jared and Beckie married on the 21st of January 2006 surrounded by their family and loved ones.

In May that year, Jared was deployed to Iraq (Operation Catalyst), where he spent the next seven months. This was Jared’s second deployment but his first to the Middle East. He loved being able to travel the world, seeing the diversity of these countries, all while he was doing his job.

Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school

In October 2007, Jared and Beckie welcomed their first child – Annabell – into the world. Unquestionably one of the proudest moments in their lives and Jared was the most adoring father to Annabell.  His “little princess” could do no wrong in her Daddy’s eyes. When he was home, they were inseparable and got up to lots of mischief.

Family was the most important thing in Jared’s life.  He came from a large family with uncles, aunties and extended family totalling over 20.  Jared was the quintessential son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, son in law, brother-in-law and ultimately husband and father.  He adored his parents and cherished a close relationship with Beckie’s family. Jared really was a wonderful loving husband and a very “hands on” dad. He brought his energy and zest for life into every living moment with his family. Whilst in green Jared proudly lived the Royal Australian Regiment’s motto of “Duty First”, but back with the family his personal motto was “Happy Wife, Happy Life”.

Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school

To his family and the Australian community, he was Jared.  To his father-in-law David, their group of friends and his Army family he was simply Crash.

David gave Jared this nickname the first day they met after learning he had been involved in a traffic accident and it was the source of many laughs over the years.

Jared was nothing short of a larrikin who ultimately lived up to his nickname with many stories to be told of him “crashing” through life!

Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school

Jared loved the great outdoors and couldn’t wait to go camping, shooting, fishing, the footy or playing in the mud in his Landcruiser.  He was slowly upgrading his four-wheel drive after every trip, and you couldn’t get the smile off his face when he would come home covered in as much mud as the vehicle.  His father-in-law would always try to convince him his Landcruiser wasn’t a Bushmaster after seeing where he drove it a number of times, but that didn’t stop him seeking new challenges and a new hill or mud hole to explore.

There were many times when I would tell him to let me out of the car because there was no chance, I was staying in for that trek!! He was always a daredevil with the cheekiest smile!” Beckie

Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school

In March 2008 Jared deployed to Afghanistan on Operation Slipper. He was the commander of the Protected Mobility Vehicle. It was here that Jared got a real taste of what he knew he loved doing – being a soldier. Jared and his mates spend the next seven months doing their first tour of Afghanistan. Jared often talked about how beautiful the countryside was and how generous the people were.

After this deployment, Jared decided he wanted to go back over to Afghanistan on another deployment but to be on the ground in the thick of it, with his mates. His mates were his brothers and being deployed with them, doing what he loved, was the perfect life for him. He had everything he had ever wanted.

Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school

In January 2010, Jared learned he was going to be a dad again. He was really hoping they would have a little boy.

In February, Jared deployed back to Afghanistan where he and his mates were to spend the next eight months on the ground. Prior to this deployment, Jared and Beckie had many lengthy discussions about this trip as not only did they have Annabell to think about, Beckie was pregnant. There was this very eery feeling about this trip amongst Jared, the boys and their wives/partners – it just didn’t feel right. The boys left and did what they knew best – they were soldiers. A few months into the trip Jared got a phone call from Beckie at home and she was delighted to tell him they were indeed having a boy. He was over the moon and left the phone room telling everyone “It’s a boy, it’s a boy!!”.

Jared’s first day of school

Over the course of the trip, the boys encountered more and more contacts with the enemy and the Australian Army was now taking casualties. Several soldiers had sadly lost their lives and Jared returned home in July to spend time on ROCL with his family. While he was home, Jared learned that he was going to be promoted upon his return to Afghanistan.  Hesitant to see him leave, Beckie and Annabell said their goodbyes to Jared at the airport, for what would become the very last time they would ever see him.

Back in country, Jared proudly received his promotion to Lance Corporal and he was now second in command of a Section. Being promoted had not been a priority for Jared as he always felt his place was on the ground with his brothers, but this trip had changed everything.  Jared had served with pride, with his experience and efforts being acknowledged with his promotion.  

Tragically, Jared was killed in action at what is now known as The Battle of Derapet a short time after being promoted.

Jared was living life to the fullest and he felt very fortunate to have the opportunities to be able to fulfill his dreams.  Being an honourable soldier, a good mate, a dedicated husband and the ultimate dad was all he ever wanted in life. He was a warm, caring and very selfless man who was dedicated to his family and the Army. Jared was rightly very proud to be a soldier and equally proud of the collective achievements he and his colleagues made during their deployments overseas. He is and was a one-of-a-kind man that cherished all the people in his life.  

“Jared, thank you for giving me the most treasured gift of all – Annabell and Noah

We never lived a dull moment and always in the present, something I will always cherish. You changed my life in so many ways for the better and you contributed to the woman I am today. You are one of the most courageous people I have been gifted to know and taught me strength I didn’t believe I had.  To Australia, you were a remarkable soldier who died for his country. To us, your family; you are our hero. I am blessed to have ever had you in my life and to call you my husband. Rest peacefully Jared.”  Beckie

“Jared, you were such a larrikin with a heart of gold.  I will always miss your cheeky smile.”  Love Neen  x

“Jared, you were a wonderful son in law and a great mate.  Whilst I will always miss you and our regular banter, our love and respect for you will never fade.  Thank you for the happiness you brought to our family.  RIP Crash.” Dave  

“Crash, we were so lucky to have you as our brother-in-law. You sure put up with a lot from your eventual brothers in the early days with some very questionable dinner time conversations; but you just kept coming back for more.  You were something special, an all-around good guy with a huge heart and unlimited stores of energy.  As amazing as you were as a brother and friend, you were an even better Uncle.  You were so natural with kids and always had time for them. Our girls adore you still. We miss you and talk about you often. You may not have met all our girls, but they will know you.  We tell them all the memories we have of you, and they know what a special part of our family you are. We love you Crash.” Ben, Kylie & girls

“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.” Nicko

Jared was awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with clasps: International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT) and Iraq 2003, the Australian Service Medal with clasp East Timor, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Australian Defence Medal, NATO Non Article 5 Medal with clasp – ISAF, UNMSET Medal. He has also been awarded the Infantry Combat Badge and Return from Active Service Badge from an earlier deployment.

Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school
Jared’s first day of school

21 May 1982 – 24 August 2010

Jared’s first day of school