SSgt Robert Miller was assigned to Special Forces operation detachment Alpha 3312, Task Force 33, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). On January 25th, 2008, during his 2nd deployment to Afghanistan, he paid the ultimate price by facing overwhelming fire from terrorists. For his actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
Robert Miller received his Special Forces tab and was promoted to Sergeant in 2005. His first deployment to Afghanistan earned him two valor awards.
His friends said that Robert Miller was a care free, spirited person who might be “cooking to classical music,” or “cleaning his gun to hard rock.” He was colorblind, so his dream of going to the Naval Academy at Annapolis was derailed when he realized they would not accept him.
Rob had a rare zest for life, he was a loyal friend, a caring brother and son, and a great patriot.Profile of Staff Sergeant Robert Miller
MOH Citation, Konar Province, Afghanistan, January 25, 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.MOH Citation for SSgt Robert Miller
The Medal of Honor was presented to the family of SSgt Robert Miller on October 6, 2010.
We owe all that we are, and everything we ever hope to be, to these unrivaled heroes. Their memory and their legacy is immortal. Our loyalty to them and to their families is eternal and everlasting.45th President Donald J. Trump, May 31, 2021
Featured photo: composite from US Army
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