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
Konar Province, Afghanistan on 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
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.