Bomb disposal hero to get George Cross

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#1
From The Sunday Times
March 14, 2010
Bomb disposal hero to get George Cross

Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid
Sara Dixon

AN ARMY bomb disposal expert hailed by his commanding officer as the bravest man he had ever met is expected this week to be awarded the George Cross posthumously.

Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid died in Afghanistan on October 31 last year as his team tried to defuse an improvised explosive device (IED) in Helmand province. Over the previous five months he had made safe 64 roadside bombs before he was killed clearing an area of mines.

When the 30-year-old’s body was repatriated to Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire his grieving widow, Christina, greeted his coffin with smiles and applause as she wore his medals. “I am very pleased to have my husband home. He is an absolute hero,” she said.

It is expected she will now accept her husband’s George Cross from the Queen later this year
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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7061386.ece
 
#3
It must be hard, almost impossible, to single out one incident in such a catalogue of incidents and it must be equally as hard to single out one recipient when every ATO is doing the same job under similar circumstances.
For SSGT Schmid to get so much individual praise he must have been truly exceptional.
 
#6
Markintime said:
It must be hard, almost impossible, to single out one incident in such a catalogue of incidents and it must be equally as hard to single out one recipient when every ATO is doing the same job under similar circumstances.
For SSGT Schmid to get so much individual praise he must have been truly exceptional.
I agree, to pin-point one particular tasking worthy of an honour for an individual would be no easy task, and I suspect not a decision taken lightly. I hope 11 EOD Regt RLC & 33 EOD Regt RE receive plenty more honours of this prestige, but only on the proviso that none are posthumous, which unfortunately is unlikely.

Brave fellow, and truely a loss, but lets not detract that all those who wear the badge of the AT & ATO are exceptionally brave and deserve every award and recognition that comes their way.
 
#7
Indeed, l fully support it-

I knew Olaf well and worked with him on two Ops, he was a true legend and a massive loss. Nothing fazed him.

Huge respect to all ATO / EOD types, capbadge matters not. We are all on the same side at the end of the day, so keep the awards coming.
 
#8
MAD_FERRET said:
Huge respect to all ATO / EOD types, capbadge matters not. We are all on the same side at the end of the day, so keep the awards coming.
Apologies M_F, No slight against the RE was intended. It was a Slip of the finger.
 
#9
Fat_Cav said:
Markintime said:
It must be hard, almost impossible, to single out one incident in such a catalogue of incidents and it must be equally as hard to single out one recipient when every ATO is doing the same job under similar circumstances.
For SSGT Schmid to get so much individual praise he must have been truly exceptional.
I agree, to pin-point one particular tasking worthy of an honour for an individual would be no easy task, and I suspect not a decision taken lightly. I hope 11 EOD Regt RLC & 33 EOD Regt RE receive plenty more honours of this prestige, but only on the proviso that none are posthumous, which unfortunately is unlikely.

Brave fellow, and truely a loss, but lets not detract that all those who wear the badge of the AT & ATO are exceptionally brave and deserve every award and recognition that comes their way.
A truly inspiring man.

Off thread somewhat; why do the RLC and RE each have EOD units?
 
#10
33 do high risk search, conventional munitions disposal (blinds and UXO) and mines on tour
11 EOD do High threat IEDD (and now one RAF lad as well) on tour and in the UK as well as bulk demolitions and conventional munitions disposal
 
#12
CrazyLegs! said:
33 do high risk search, conventional munitions disposal (blinds and UXO) and mines on tour
11 EOD do High threat IEDD (and now one RAF lad as well) on tour and in the UK as well as bulk demolitions and conventional munitions disposal
Thanks, but I am still puzzled as to why the responsibilities are split between two Corps.

Could they not be all within either the RLC or RE?

If I recall correctly they were (RAOC?) when I served may moons ago.
 
#13
Balleh said:
CrazyLegs! said:
33 do high risk search, conventional munitions disposal (blinds and UXO) and mines on tour
11 EOD do High threat IEDD (and now one RAF lad as well) on tour and in the UK as well as bulk demolitions and conventional munitions disposal
Thanks, but I am still puzzled as to why the responsibilities are split between two Corps.

Could they not be all within either the RLC or RE?

If I recall correctly they were (RAOC?) when I served may moons ago.
Sorry Balleh, but as much as it's an innocnet question, it's a very emotive subject and the thread is likely to invite opinions not in keeping with Olaf's (and others) memory.

See ARRSE Passim ad nauseaum
Including these two, although they might not answer your question, they will make sense to any further dialogue on this thread.
Thread 1
Thread 2
 
#14
Fat_Cav said:
Balleh said:
CrazyLegs! said:
33 do high risk search, conventional munitions disposal (blinds and UXO) and mines on tour
11 EOD do High threat IEDD (and now one RAF lad as well) on tour and in the UK as well as bulk demolitions and conventional munitions disposal
Thanks, but I am still puzzled as to why the responsibilities are split between two Corps.

Could they not be all within either the RLC or RE?

If I recall correctly they were (RAOC?) when I served may moons ago.
Sorry Balleh, but as much as it's an innocnet question, it's a very emotive subject and the thread is likely to invite opinions not in keeping with Olaf's (and others) memory.

See ARRSE Passim ad nauseaum
Including these two, although they might not answer your question, they will make sense to any further dialogue on this thread.
Thread 1
Thread 2
My apologies.

I did not realise my question would open any wounds.

I hope it does not detract from my comment that Olaf was indeed an inspiring man.
 
#15
The RAOC started out by being responsible for storing and maintaining ammunition and the RE for disposing of battlefield explosives and unexploded bombs. Since unexploded munitions would often require excavation is was logical that the Royal Engineers should carry out that task as well as the making safe of the explosive. I doubt there is any real rivalry between the two Corps on this subject as to carry out such work requires an exceptional mindset and one that can be recognised each by the other.
 
#16
I think that anybody who works in the field of explosives disposal, be it mines, IED, blinds or whatever else it may mean deserves to be honoured.

This includes the Navy's fleet clearance Divers, the RE EOD, the RLC EOD and whatever the current RAF version is. These people do a job which most cannot and probably if they could! would not want to do, they do the job to the best of their abilities, which is so good we only hear about it when something goes wrong.
 
#17
Sad reflection on the state of things that it was reported that the forthcoming Opertional Honours list will be one of the biggest yet-and doubly sad that many of them are posthumous.
 
#18
Pity its has to be Posthumously.

In regards to the British Army currently in Afghanistan, particularly especially as a civvy, the words of W Churchill still ring true.

Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many, to so few.

I'd just like to say thank you.
 
#20
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