Robert James Miller

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Robert James Miller
Robert James Miller sitting.jpg   A light blue neck ribbon with a gold star shaped medallion hanging from it. The ribbon is similar in shape to a bowtie with 13 white stars in the center of the ribbon.
Robert J. Miller in Afghanistan
Born (1983-10-14)October 14, 1983
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Died January 25, 2008(2008-01-25) (aged 24)
Kunar Province, Afghanistan
Resting Place All Faiths Memorial Park
Casselberry, Florida
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service 2003–2008
Rank Army-USA-OR-06.svg Staff Sergeant
Unit US Army Special Forces SSI.png3rd Special Forces Group
Battles/wars War in Afghanistan
Awards Medal of Honor ribbon.svg Medal of Honor
Meritorious Service ribbon.svg Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Army Commendation Medal

Robert James Miller (October 14, 1983 – January 25, 2008), of Company A, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), was a United States Army Special Forces soldier who posthumously received the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony on October 6, 2010.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Miller was a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Wheaton, Illinois, graduating from Wheaton North High School in 2002. He was captain of the school's state-qualifying gymnastics teams.[2] Miller is survived by his parents and seven brothers and sisters.

Military career[edit]

Staff Sergeant Miller enlisted as a Special Forces trainee on August 14, 2003. He graduated from Infantry Basic Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, on January 6, 2004. Miller graduated from the Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) on September 26, 2004, and the Special Forces Weapons Sergeant Course on March 4, 2005. Miller received his Special Forces Tab and was promoted to Sergeant after graduating from the Special Operations French Language Training Course, September 30, 2005. That same day he was assigned to Company A, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

He deployed to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom from August 2006 to March 2007. During this deployment, Miller received two Army Commendation w/ Valor Device medals for his courage under fire. He returned to Afghanistan for his second tour in October 2007, where he served as a Weapons Sergeant for his team.[citation needed] Miller was killed in combat with the Taliban in Afghanistan on January 25, 2008. His unit was conducting combat operations near the village of Barikowt, Nari District, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. He is buried at All Faiths Memorial Park in Casselberry, Florida.[3] Miller's Special Skill decorations include: Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab and Parachutist Badge.[citation needed]

Medal of Honor Citation (summary)[edit]

On January 25, 2008 Sergeant Miller found him­self will­ingly lead­ing a team of Afghan National Secu­rity Forces and Coali­tion sol­diers dur­ing a com­bat recon­nais­sance patrol in Kunar Province near the Pak­istan bor­der. Insur­gents hid­ing in a struc­ture attacked Miller's team. A fel­low team­mate called for close-air sup­port to drop ord­nance on the insur­gent posi­tion, dis­rupt­ing their attack. When the com­bined patrol moved toward the struc­ture to check for any remain­ing enemy threats, insur­gents again fired using heavy weapons.

Miller's team cap­tain was seri­ously wounded within the first min­utes of the attack. While his com­man­der was moved to safety, Miller returned fire. At great per­sonal risk to him­self, Miller remained at the front of the patrol and con­tin­ued to lay down sup­pres­sive fire on mul­ti­ple insur­gent posi­tions, allow­ing his wounded com­man­der to be pulled out of the line of fire, ulti­mately sav­ing his life. Miller's per­sonal courage under intense enemy fire enabled the entire patrol to gain cover and return fire. Even while injured by direct enemy small-arms and machine gun fire, Miller con­tin­ued to employ his M249 Squad Auto­matic Weapon and grenades to sup­press enemy fire and pro­tect his teammates.

Awards[edit]

Staff Sergeant Miller's decorations include:
Combat Infantry Badge.svg
United States Air Force Parachutist Badge.svg
A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars
V
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
SpecialForcesTabMetal.jpg Ranger Tab.svg
Combat Infantryman Badge
Parachutist Badge
Medal of Honor Purple Heart Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal
w/Valor device and oak leaf cluster
Good Conduct Medal National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
w/2 service stars
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Army NCO Professional Development Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon Army Overseas Service Ribbon NATO Service Medal (ISAF)
Special Forces Tab Ranger Tab

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

The President of the United States of America, authorized by act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded, in the name of the Congress, the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

STAFF SERGEANT ROBERT JAMES MILLER
UNITED STATES ARMY

for service as set forth in the following

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Cmoh army.jpg

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller distinguished himself by extraordinary acts of heroism while serving as the Weapons Sergeant in Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3312, Special Operations Task Force-33, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on 25 January 2008. While conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol through the Gowardesh Valley, Staff Sergeant Miller and his small element of U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers engaged a force of 15 to 20 insurgents occupying prepared fighting positions. Staff Sergeant Miller initiated the assault by engaging the enemy positions with his vehicle’s turret-mounted Mark-19 40 millimeter automatic grenade launcher while simultaneously providing detailed descriptions of the enemy positions to his command, enabling effective, accurate close air support. Following the engagement, Staff Sergeant Miller led a small squad forward to conduct a battle damage assessment. As the group neared the small, steep, narrow valley that the enemy had inhabited, a large, well-coordinated insurgent force initiated a near ambush, assaulting from elevated positions with ample cover. Exposed and with little available cover, the patrol was totally vulnerable to enemy rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapon fire. As point man, Staff Sergeant Miller was at the front of the patrol, cut off from supporting elements, and less than 20 meters from enemy forces. Nonetheless, with total disregard for his own safety, he called for his men to quickly move back to covered positions as he charged the enemy over exposed ground and under overwhelming enemy fire in order to provide protective fire for his team. While maneuvering to engage the enemy, Staff Sergeant Miller was shot in his upper torso. Ignoring the wound, he continued to push the fight, moving to draw fire from over one hundred enemy fighters upon himself. He then again charged forward through an open area in order to allow his teammates to safely reach cover. After killing at least 10 insurgents, wounding dozens more, and repeatedly exposing himself to withering enemy fire while moving from position to position, Staff Sergeant Miller was mortally wounded by enemy fire. His extraordinary valor ultimately saved the lives of seven members of his own team and 15 Afghanistan National Army soldiers. Staff Sergeant Miller’s heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty, and at the cost of his own life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

BARACK OBAMA
/s/ Barack Obama
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Obama to award first Medal of Honor for a living veteran of wars in Afghanistan or Iraq". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "Local soldier killed in Afghanistan". Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Robert James Miller". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. 26 January 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 

External links[edit]