President Barack Obama will award Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller the Medal of Honor posthumously for conspicuous gallantry on Oct. 6.
The White House press release announcing the award said Miller will receive the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Afghanistan on Jan. 25, 2008.
"He displayed immeasurable courage and uncommon valor – eventually sacrificing his own life to save the lives of his teammates and 15 Afghanistan National Army soldiers" the release said.
His parents, Phil and Maureen Miller will join the president at the White House to commemorate their son’s service and sacrifice.
Special Operations Command in a story on the award wrote that Miller at 24 was "the youngest member of A Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C., and he quickly earned a reputation for taking on difficult challenges and leading from the front according to numerous interviews with other Operational Detachment-Alpha (ODA) team members.
"An avid athlete and a student of human nature, Miller [nicknamed Robbie] was often called on because of his expertise in weapons and languages. His teammates recalled how quickly he picked up Pashto (one of Afghanistan’s native languages) and how the local villagers loved to spend time with him and teach him their language and culture. According to one team member’s recollections, the villagers developed a bond with him over evening meals while drinking chai tea; they respected and trusted him."
The command story described the nighttime patrol in Konar Province, where Miller, a Special Forces weapons sergeant, volunteered to take the lead for his team. "Because of his Pashto language abilities, he led and directed the small local contingent of Afghan National Army soldiers from the front. As they approached their target area, his team was attacked by insurgents."
Miller directed fire and provided cover against the 100 insurgents. "Miller deliberately moved forward making himself vulnerable as he engaged several enemy positions to provide suppressive fire, buying time for his teammates to take cover."
Miller was born on Oct. 14, 1983, in Harrisburg, Pa. He graduated from Wheaton North High School, Wheaton Ill. Shortly after his family moved to Oviedo, Fla., he enlisted in the Army as a Special Forces candidate in August 2003. He attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, Ga., and later became a Green Beret in 2005.
His military decorations include: Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with "V" Device, Army Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO Medal, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab and Parachute Badge.
He is survived by his parents, Phil and Maureen Miller; brothers Thomas, Martin and Edward; and sisters Joanna, Mary, Therese and Patricia.