An American Hero: Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller

Medal of Honor awarded to Green Beret for sacrifice in Afghan fight

As Miller and the Afghan troops moved toward the enemy compound, about 100 fighters in the mountains above him unleashed gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades that one of Miller’s fellow soldiers described as “astounding.”

The rest of the U.S. troops from Miller’s team were trapped in a choke point beneath him, dangerously exposed to the insurgent barrage.

Miller radioed to his fellow troops to seek cover. He then charged the enemy, killing at least 10 insurgents and giving the Afghan and U.S. troops a chance to move to a safer spot, according to U.S. Army reports.

Eventually Miller was wounded by insurgents who homed in on the muzzle flash from his gun.

Despite his wounds, the soldier continued to crawl uphill through the snow, firing on insurgents and radioing the location of enemy positions below. Because the area where he was fighting is so remote, it can take as long as an hour for attack helicopters to reach troops pinned down in gunfights.

After about 25 minutes, his radio fell silent. Miller’s fellow soldiers then braved enemy fire to recover his body.

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