Profiles of Valor: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Miller
On Oct. 6, United States Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. It was the third Medal of Honor awarded for actions in the war in Afghanistan, which began nine years ago Thursday. Sgt. Miller's mother, father and seven siblings received the Medal on his behalf.
In January 2008, Miller was serving with Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3312, which was conducting combined operations with Afghan troops from Forward Operating Base Naray in Kunar Province near the Pakistani border. When the team was ambushed by Taliban fighters, they called for close-air support. Miller engaged the enemy using his vehicle's turret-mounted 40mm MK-19 automatic grenade launcher.
After the team's captain was wounded, Miller remained at the front providing suppressive fire and saving the captain's life. Drawing the fire of some 100 enemy fighters, Miller fought on, giving his team time to take cover and return fire. He was shot in the side, but continued to fire and throw grenades at the enemy. Wounded a second time, Miller used his last ounce of life to fire his remaining ammunition and throw his last grenade. In the seven-hour battle, Miller is credited with having killed at least 10 jihadis and wounding dozens more, while saving the lives of seven Americans and 15 Afghans.
His citation concludes, "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."