Miller, Robert J, SSG

Fallen
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Special Forces
Last Primary MOS
18B-Special Forces Weapons Sergeant
Last MOS Group
Special Forces (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
2007-2008, 18B, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A)
Service Years
2003 - 2008
Foreign Language(s)
French
Pushtu-Afghan


Special Forces

Ranger
Staff Sergeant


One Service Stripe



Two Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

2485 kb

Home State
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Year of Birth
1983
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Maureen Miller-Family to remember Miller, Robert J, SSG.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Wheaton, IL
Oviedo, FL

Casualty Date
Jan 25, 2008
 
Cause
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Reason
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Location
Afghanistan
Conflict
Not Specified
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Special Forces Group


 Unofficial Badges 

Airborne


 Military Association Memberships
Special Forces Association
  2010, Special Forces Association [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)
Rifle

 
 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  2003, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment (Fort Benning, GA), B
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Army John F Kennedy Special Warfare Center & School (USAJFKSWCS)A Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne)Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A)
  2004-2005, 18X, US Army John F Kennedy Special Warfare Center & School (USAJFKSWCS)
  2005-2008, 18B, A Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group
  2007-2008, 18B, A Company/Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 3312, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group
  2007-2008, 18B, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  2006-2006 OEF-Afghanistan/Consolidation I (2001-06)1
  2007-2007 OEF-Afghanistan/Consolidation II (2006-09)1
 Colleges Attended 
University of Iowa
  2002-2003, University of Iowa
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Commander's Tribute by LTC Samuel Ashley, 28 Jan 2008, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan:

MG Mulholland, ADM MC Raven, ADM Harward, Col Haas, CSM Peters members of Special Operations Task Force 33 and CJSOTF-A, we are present here today to pay our respects to our fallen comrade, SSG Robert Miller,  who sacrificed his life in the name of freedom.   Today we honor the memory of this man.  We celebrate his life and grieve his loss.
 
In times like these, words fail to adequately express the sense of loss that we all feel. No words can undo the past or, more specifically, bring our fallen brother back to us. For each of us, we feel the loss of a comrade. For some of us, we feel the loss of a close friend, others a teammate; each of us has lost a comrade. One of our own men. Together we all share the grief that is felt by the family and loved ones of our Special Forces brother.
 
 Throughout our nation’s history we have been faced with challenges that would seek to destroy our values, freedoms, and very way of life. Each generation is asked, therefore, to carry the mantle of freedom and preserve the values we cherish. And from the Revolutionary War to the World Wars, from Korea to Vietnam, from the Persian Gulf to the Global War on Terrorism, countless Americans have answered the call of service. These brave Americans have willingly and sacrificially served our nation. We are reminded again today of the reality that freedom has a price.
 
 SSG Robby Miller was a unique soldier and above all a warrior.  He was a motivated and charismatic NCO with a gift for languages. Robby was the type of soldier that saw the hardships before him and stepped up to the challenge. He understood the hazards of combat and the risks of his service to our Nation. He willingly bore the burden of the Soldier. He was the epitome of the SF soldier. He was a warrior among warriors.
 
 Yesterday I visited with Robby’s teammates, ODA 3312 at Naray. Their accounts of his heroism the day of the 25th paints the picture of a selfless warrior, putting the welfare of his teammates ahead of his own. During a CRP North of Firebase Naray, in VIC of Gowerdesh bridge, the ODA observed a group of 15 armed INS and engaged them with SAF and CAS. While conducting BDA of the CAS strikes, the ODA was engaged by effective machine gun fire, from multiple INS in fortified and concealed positions. SSG Miller, who was walking point for the ODA and advising the accompanying ANA, began returning fire with his M249 SAW at the enemy RPK machine gun position, just 15 meters to his front. SSG Miller laid down a withering base of fire with his SAW and also engaged the enemy positions with hand grenades. SSG Miller facilitated the maneuver of his ODA and protected his teammates as they bounded for cover and concealed positions. Even after receiving the first GSW, SSG Miller continued to engage the enemy and issue direction to the ANA and ODA. To a man, SSG Miller’s teammates spoke of his heroism that day and contributed his actions to saving their lives.  Even though the battle that followed the initial engagement lasted several more hours, with the ODA expending over 20,000 rounds of ammunition, all the team could talk about was the heroic actions of their fallen teammate, SSG Miller.
 
 He placed his life on the line so that others would have a chance to experience freedom.  
 
The motto of our Regiment is “Free the Oppressed.”  Special Forces soldiers have long lived by this creed and today we all carry this torch. Robby sacrificed his life doing just this very thing – bringing freedom to the oppressed people of Afghanistan.
 
Robby faced the ultimate challenge of a warrior.  This hero paid the ultimate sacrifice.  As we gather here to honor this man we are consoled in our grief by the knowledge that our fallen brother is in a far better place.   
 
Today, while we honor the sacrifices of SSG miller, we re-dedicate ourselves to the mission that has brought us here. Robby gave his life to defend the United States from enemies who seek to do us harm and to bring freedom to a place where freedom has never been known. His work remains unfinished and our mission continues. Together we must draw strength from his sacrifice. While we pause to mourn his loss we must persevere to accomplish what we have come here to do. 
“De Opresso Liber”

Letter from Col. Christopher Haas for Memorial Service at Fort Bragg, Feb. 5, 2008:

On behalf of 3rd Special Forces Group and Combined Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan, I would like to express our deepest sympathies to SSG Robert Miller’s parents, Philip and Maureen Miller, and to his brothers and sisters, Thomas, Martin, Edward, Joanna, Mary, Therese, and Patricia, and to all his friends and comrades.

I cannot easily put into words the deep sense of sorrow and pain that we, his Special Forces brothers, all feel over the loss of Robby, who was a highly respected member of this command. A skilled and experienced warrior, Robby was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with V device for his first combat tour in Afghanistan. In just over 2 years of service the 3rd Special Forces Group, Robby had distinguished himself as a courageous and extremely competent Special Forces soldier. Robby had one of those personalities that made everyone like him almost instantaneously. He would always volunteer for the most difficult task or mission, when others wouldn’t, and he was well known for calming tense situations with a great sense of humor. Robby enthusiastically gave his best in everything he did. And I recall when the majority of us rested between rotations, Robby went to Ranger school, earning another tab of distinction and leadership.

In the early morning hours of 25 Jan 2008, SSG Robby Miller put aside his own personal safety and with unflinching courage sacrificed his life to protect his teammates. Despite heavy and accurate enemy fire on his team’s position, Robby never wavered. While even the best-trained soldier would have fallen back under these conditions, Robby stayed in position and displayed incredible bravery and leadership. His selfless actions that morning turned the tide of battle. He saved the lives of his Special Forces teammates and the Afghan Army comrades involved with them.

As you gather to honor and celebrate the life of SSG Miller, we his brethren remain fully dedicated to the mission that brought us here. Robby sacrificed his life, but it was not in vain. His teammates are alive today and they are continuing the mission because of his valor and his sacrifice. It was my distinct honor and privilege to have known and served with Robby. We pray for his entire family and hope that they find some comfort in knowing that Robby’s sacrifice and bravery will never be forgotten. We will miss him dearly, but his legacy will live in the hearts of his comrades and the history of 3rd Special Forces Group Airborne. May God bless the Miller family, our regiment, and the US Army.

De oppresso liber.

Sincerely and respectfully,

COL Christopher K. Haas

Special Forces Command

   
Comments/Citation

Hundreds honor fallen Special Forces Soldier

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Courtesy of CJSOTF-A Public Affairs, Jan. 29, 2008)  – Hundreds of U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coalition partners lined Bagram Airfield’s main roadway and tarmac Jan. 27, to pay their last respects to a fallen comrade.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert James Miller, of Company A, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Force Group (Airborne), was killed Jan. 25, by Taliban fighters while protecting his Operational Detachment Alpha teammates during combat operations near the village of Barikowt, Nari District, Konar Province, Afghanistan.

Miller and his team were supporting an Afghan Border Police and Coalition Forces security patrol in the Chenar Khar Valley near the Pakistan border when they were attacked.

A tactical vehicle carried Staff Sgt. Miller’s flag-draped casket to the waiting U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo aircraft.  As the vehicle passed, service members stood at attention and rendered a final salute to their fallen comrade; hundreds more soldiers lined the tarmac.  Soldiers from Special Operations Task Force 33 formed a cordon leading to the ramp as his brothers in arms serving as pallbearers escorted Staff Sgt. Miller’s remains into the aircraft’s empty cargo area. 

U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. Joseph Votel, Deputy Commanding General for Operations, Joint Task Force 82; U.S. Army Col. Chris Haas, Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan and Commander, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne); and Lt. Col. Samuel Ashley, Commander, Special Operations Task Force 33, accompanied the escorts onto the aircraft to honor a fellow soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of his country.

Miller was best remembered as a man who always had a smile and a ‘can do’ attitude.  According to his teammates, he was always the first to volunteer for any task.

“Robby was the type of soldier that saw the hardships before him and stepped up to the challenge,” Lt. Col. Ashley eulogized during a memorial ceremony, Jan. 28, at Bagram Airfield. “He understood the hazards of combat and the risks of his service to our nation.  He willingly bore the burden of the Soldier.  He was the epitome of the SF soldier.  He was a warrior among warriors.”

U.S. Army Capt. John Bishop, of Special Operations Task Force 33, and Miller’s former detachment commander also spoke at the ceremony. “He was always quick to volunteer and never thought it should be any other way.  On numerous occasions when the Detachment was faced with a difficult task, Robby would just stand up and say, ‘I got this one, I’ll do it, send me.’” 

Jan. 25, Miller found himself willingly leading a team of Afghan National Security Forces and Coalition soldiers during a combat reconnaissance patrol in Konar 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.

Staff Sgt. Miller enlisted as a Special Forces trainee Aug. 14, 2003.  He graduated from Infantry Basic Training and Airborne School at Ft. Benning, Ga., Jan. 6. Miller graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course Sep. 26, 2004, and the Special Forces Weapons Sergeant Course Mar. 4, 2005. Miller received his coveted Special Forces Tab and was promoted to Sergeant after graduating from the Special Operations French Language Training Course, Sep. 30, 2005.  That same day he was assigned to Company A, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Force Group (Airborne), Ft. Bragg, N.C.

He deployed to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom from Aug. 2006 to March 2007.  During this deployment, Miller received two Army Commendation Medals for Valor for his courage under fire. 

Miller returned to Afghanistan for his second tour in Oct. 2007, where he served as a Weapons Sergeant for his team.
 
Lt. Col. Ashley completed the memorial by stating, “The motto of our Regiment is ‘Free the Oppressed.’  Special Forces soldiers have long lived by this creed and today, we all carry this torch.  Robby sacrificed his life bringing freedom to the oppressed people of Afghanistan.  He placed his life on the line so that others would have a chance to experience freedom.”
 
Miller is survived by his parents and seven brothers and sisters.

   
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