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Nicholas S. Miller


Army Commendation Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The Secretary of the Army of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Army Commendation Medal with Combat "V" to Staff Sergeant Nicholas S. Miller, United States Army, for valorous actions on 29 June 2011 while serving as a Squad Leader during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM XII. Staff Sergeant Miller's actions and courage while under accurate enemy fire assisted in saving other Soldier's lives. His bravery and dedication to duty under the most extreme circumstances were in keeping with the finest military traditions of never leaving a fallen comrade and reflect distinct credit upon himself, Task Force PANTHER, Task Force BRONCO, and the United States Army. NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: Staff Sergeant Nicholas S. Miller distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious achievement as a Dismounted Reconnaissance Squad Leader for 2d Platoon, Charlie Troop, 1-61 Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Task Force Panther, Afghanistan, on 29 June 2011. Staff Sergeant Miller demonstrated his outstanding ability to lead troops bravely and effectively while in close contact with the enemy. On the afternoon of 29 June 2011, Operation THREE VILLAGES began in response to the recent influx of Taliban into AO COMANCHE. TM COMANCHE had cleared into Hashemkheyl village and began establishing a vehicle patrol base when the patrol came under heavy fire from rocket propelled grenades, PKMs, and small arms from the East, Southeast, and Northwest. First Platoon was still in vehicles and pursued the enemy to the East in vehicles and eventually dismounted into Norkukheyl to continue their pursuit. Staff Sergeant Miller led his squad against the enemy to the southeast and suppressed them, which allowed First Squad on 2d Platoon to maneuver on the enemy support by fire position to the southeast. Staff Sergeant Miller maneuvered his MAXXPRO to a position that could support both 1st Squad of 2d Platoon's movement to the support by fire position and 1st Platoon's pursuit of the enemy to the East. 1st Platoon's dismounts became isolated and surrounded by insurgents that were delivering effective rocket-propelled grenade, PKM, and small arms fire, so they occupied a school. At this point 1st Platoon had one soldier who had been wounded in the shoulder. Staff Sergeant Miller led 2d Platoon's mounted movement to 1st Platoon's mounted support by fire position. Without hesitation, Staff Sergeant Miller dismounted and grabbed the nearest litter to carry to 1st Platoon. He linked up with 1st Platoon's Platoon Sergeant who showed Staff Sergeant Miller where the rest of the platoon was located. Staff Sergeant Miller continued to lead from the front by being the point man in the reinforcement element, and by carrying the litter. Because of his personal courage and fearless leadership, the rest of the element was able to quickly follow behind Staff Sergeant Miller across 800 meters of open terraced farm fields. Staff Sergeant Miller would continue to lead from the front, setting the conditions for the exfiltration of 1st Platoon's dismounts, which led to their safe evacuation. While maneuvering to the school that 1st Platoon was occupying, the 2d Platoon element came under small arms fire from the West. Staff Sergeant Miller returned fire and guided his element's fires while continuing to maneuver towards 1st Platoon's dismounts--all while carrying the litter. The 2d Platoon element came under fire a second time from both the East and the West of the 2d Platoon element's position prior to reaching the school. Staff Sergeant Miller quickly led his element out of direct fire and made the link up with 1st Platoon's dismounts who by this time were down to one magazine per Soldier. The quick response of Staff Sergeant Miller, and his ability to complete the task at hand while under fire allowed him to lead his element to rescue Americans who had been pinned down and had taken casualties. After Staff Sergeant Miller had conducted a link up with 1st Platoon's dismounts, he cross-loaded ammunition with his element and the 1st Platoon dismounts. Staff Sergeant Miller then helped organize their retrograde back to the mounted support by fire position. He led the element in escorting the 1st Platoon dismounts back across the 800 meters of open terraced farm fields and back to the trucks. Upon the completion of the mission, 2d Platoon, Charlie Troop had fought for three kilometers, pushing the enemy away from the Main Supply Route that connects COMANCHE Troop to its Squadron Headquarters. 2d Platoon, with the help of Staff Sergeant Miller's leadership was able to rescue the dismounts of 1st Platoon, who would otherwise have not been able to leave the school they were occupying and would have fan out of ammunition. Staff Sergeant Miller's courage and leadership under fire was exceptional. As a Dismounted Reconnaissance Squad Leader, his ability to make sound and timely decisions in critical situations saved lives on the field of battle. His actions warrant the awarding of the Army Commendation Medal with "V" device for unparalleled leadership, bravery, duty and commitment to his soldiers during combat operations. Staff Sergeant Miller's action are in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflect distinct credit upon himself, the Task Force, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Permanent Order 344-003 (December 10, 2011)

Action Date: June 29, 2011

Service: Army

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Company: Troop C, 1st Squadron

Regiment: 61st Cavalry Regiment

Division: 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)