Colonel Daniel J. Miller was born in Stony Point, New York. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II and was a navigator in a B-24 Liberator. During the Korean War, he flew various aircraft, including the F-86 Sabre jet fighter. In the late Korean War and throughout the Vietnam War, he flew helicopter rescue missions. He was awarded the Silver Star during the Korean War in the 3rd Rescue Squadron. He braved heavy enemy fire in low visibility to rescue USMC Major Frank H. Presley. Immediately after rescuing Presley, his P-51 fighter escort was shot down, and he once again braved the fire to attempt to rescue USAF Captain Willis R. Brown, but Brown had failed to eject and had perished. In addition, he was also awarded the Cheney Award for a rescue in February 1951, when he rescued six wounded soldiers behind enemy lines in three attempts despite snow and enemy fire. During Vietnam, he flew rescue missions and commanded a light reconnaissance squadron, the 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron.