Corporal Richard Robinson
1st Battalion The Rifles
17th January 2009
Corporal Robinson died as a result of enemy fire during an ambush north of Sangin District Centre while on a patrol to dominate ground with his Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) and the Afghan National Army (ANA) platoon with whom he had been operating since September 2008.
Corporal Robinson was born on 4 August 1987 and grew up in Saltash, Cornwall. He enlisted into the Army on 18 December 2003, attending the Army Foundation College in Harrogate in 2004 and completing his Combat Infantryman's course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick in January 2005 where he was posted to 'C' Company, 1st Battalion The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. He served with C Company as a Private in Iraq from April to November 2006.
He completed his Potential Junior Non-Commissioned Officer Cadre in early 2007. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in November 2007 and posted to the Reconnaissance Platoon of 'S' Company, 1st Battalion The Rifles (1 RIFLES). He soon completed the arduous Sniper course during the battalion's jungle training exercise to Belize, Central America, in the early part of 2008.
Corporal Robinson joined 'E' Company, 1 RIFLES, in April 2008 as a Sniper, Mentor, and Section Second-in-Command. Having completed the pre-deployment training that summer, he deployed with E Company to Sangin in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Op Herrick 9 at the end of September.
Corporal Robinson was a key team player in an operating environment where the individual skills of each and every member of the team have a decisive effect on the outcome of every situation. With his reconnaissance and sniper skills, and his sense of professional pride, he provided those decisive effects, and did so with sensibility, determination, and a ready sense of humour. He was quiet and conscientious, keeping his eye on the detail and getting on with his daily tasks efficiently and without great fuss or search for recognition.
"He was a popular, talented man and will be badly missed. Highly qualified and richly experienced for one of his vintage, he was credible and confident as an Acting Corporal and was already showing potential well beyond that."
Lieutenant Colonel Joe Cavanagh, Commanding Officer, 1 RIFLES
As a mentor to the Afghan National Army, he brought all his professional experience to bear in a working environment where he was required to operate two ranks higher than his current rank. He received the acting rank of full Corporal for this tour, in recognition of the extra responsibilities and pressures of working at the Afghan Company level of operations in the isolated and austere environment of the deployed Afghan Patrol Bases.
He took all this in his stride, dealing with each challenge as it came and ensuring that all his own Riflemen were prepared and administered for the myriad of often unpredictable tasks that the Operational Mentoring mission entailed.
His loss to the small and tight knit team of which he was an integral part will be felt heavily, but it is his family and friends, both inside and outside the regiment who will mourn his tragic passing; our thoughts are with his brother Matthew, serving in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, sister Sophie, and his father Kenneth and mother Janet.