US Special Forces operator Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller was killed in Afghanistan Friday during a firefight where he was protecting his A-Team. Hundreds came to pay their last respects at Bagram Airfield as his remains were loaded on a C-17 for the journey home to his loved ones.
The release stated that on Jan. 25 Miller was leading a team of Afghan security forces and other coalition soldiers during a combat reconnaissance patrol in Konar Province, near the Pakistan border when insurgents hiding in a structure attacked Miller’s team.
A fellow teammate called for close-air support to drop ordnance on the insurgent position, which momentarily disrupted the attack. But when the combined patrol moved toward the structure to check for any remaining enemy threats, the insurgents again fired using heavy weapons.
Miller’s team captain was seriously wounded within the first minutes of the attack, and while he was being moved to safety, Miller returned fire, remaining at the front of the patrol to lay down suppressive fire on several enemy positions.
Even while injured by direct enemy small arms and machine gun fire, Miller continued to fire his M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and grenades to suppress enemy fire and protect his teammates, who gained cover and also returned fire.
Miller, who was one of eight brothers and sisters, enlisted as a Special Forces trainee on Aug. 14, 2003, according to the release.
He graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course on Sept. 26, 2004, and the Special Forces Weapons Sergeant Course Mar. 4, 2005.
During his last deployment to Afghanistan from August 2006 to March 2007, Miller received two Army Commendation Medals for Valor for his courage under fire, the Army release said.
Miller returned to Afghanistan for his second tour in October 2007, where he served as a weapons sergeant for his team.
God speed Sgt Miller and we are very grateful for your service.