Robert James Miller
|Robert James Miller|
Robert J. Miller in Afghanistan
October 14, 1983|
|Died||January 25, 2008
Kunar Province, Afghanistan
|Resting Place||All Faiths Memorial Park
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||2003–2008|
|Unit||3rd Special Forces Group|
|Battles/wars||War in Afghanistan|
|Awards|| Medal of Honor
Meritorious Service 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.
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. Miller is survived by his parents and seven brothers and sisters.
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. 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. Miller's Special Skill decorations include: Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab and Parachutist Badge.
Medal of Honor Citation (summary)
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 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.
Medal of Honor citation
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
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.
/s/ Barack Obama
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- "Obama to award first Medal of Honor for a living veteran of wars in Afghanistan or Iraq". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
- "Local soldier killed in Afghanistan". Retrieved 10 September 2010.
- "Robert James Miller". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. 26 January 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
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