Keary J. Miller | Silver Star
Citation to accompany the award of the Silver Star to Technical Sergeant Keary J. Miller.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Technical Sergeant Keary J. Miller, United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving with the 123d Special Tactics Squadron, during combat operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, near Marzak, Patkia Province, Afghanistan, on 4 March 2002. On that proud date, Sergeant Miller was the Air Force Combat Search and Rescue Team Leader assigned to a Quick Reaction Force tasked to recover two American servicemen evading capture in austere terrain occupied by massed al Qaida and Taliban forces. Shortly before landing, his MH-47E helicopter received accurate rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire, severely disabling the aircraft and causing it to crash land. Sergeant Miller and the remainder of the assault force formed a hasty defense and immediately suffered four fatalities and five critical casualties. Despite intense enemy fire, he moved throughout the battlefield, crossing open danger areas on numerous occasions, in order to assess and care for critically wounded servicemen. As the battle drew on, Sergeant Miller removed M-203 and 5.56 rounds from the deceased and, in multiple acts of extraordinary courage, proceeded through some of the day’s heaviest rocket-propelled grenade, mortar, and small arms fire, while distributing the ammunition from position to position. Shortly thereafter another attack erupted, killing one Pararescueman and compromising the casualty collection point. Sergeant Miller braved the barrage of fire in order to move the wounded to better cover and concealment. His intrepidity and skill led to the successful delivery of ten gravely wounded Americans to life-saving medical treatment and to the recovery of seven servicemen killed in action. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Miller has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.