Military News

Friday, October 08, 2010

Coast Guard Foundation salutes Haiti earthquake responders

Written by: LTJG Stephanie Young

Coast Guard members salute their seniors as a sign of respect through a crisp raised hand salute. But a salute can also be an expression of goodwill, such as giving a toast or producing a special commemoration. Last night the Coast Guard Foundation showed both respect and goodwill, as they saluted the Coast Guard men and women who responded to the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti this past January.

The Coast Guard Foundation award was not presented to an individual or unit, but to every Coastie that responded in the days and weeks after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake. These components of Operation Unified Response included the cutter fleet, air stations, area and district support units, reservists and auxiliarists.

Coast Guard cutters were the first on scene, mobilizing just hours after the earthquake. The crews aboard the 12 assigned cutters assisted thousands of injured people and delivered medical and other critical supplies. Cutters also acted as aircraft controllers to facilitate reopening of the airport and ensure the flow of vital aid shipments.

Coast Guard aircrews worked around the clock to transport more than 500 urban rescue team members who located and rescued survivors, as well as teams from federal and international agencies. The morning after the earthquake, an HC-130 Hercules provided the first images of the devastation, and air assets from around the country continued to fly overflight assessments that provided critical information to determine where to focus rescue efforts.

The area and district support units deployed personnel that further enhanced the response by manning 24-7 command centers and coordinating logistics to support those on the front-line. Support units also provided aid to communities by reconstructing communications networks, delivering food, fuel, water and medicine to orphanages and villages, and providing security for workers and evacuees.

Within 48 hours of the tragic earthquake hundreds of reservists and auxiliarists deployed illustrating the service’s surge capacity. In total, 118 members of Port Security Units (PSU) from Florida, Washington and California deployed to Haiti. The units volunteered with local orphanages to provide medical attention to injured Haitians and helped rebuild a hospital. Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary assisted the Unified Response by solving the problem of who needed help and where. Auxiliary teams collected information from various communications and internet sources and passed the information to command centers where rescue teams could be dispatched. These volunteer efforts, through innovation and technology, helped save lives.

The multiple resources and members who played a role in responding to one of the worst natural disasters in Haiti’s history represent the Coast Guard’s unique authorities and capabilities that makes the service so resilient when disaster strikes.

Bravo Zulu to all the responders who were part of Operation Unified Response. We too, salute you.

This article was sponsored by Police Books.

Medal of Honor Recipient Inducted Into Hall Of Heroes

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2010 – A Pentagon ceremony today formally inscribed the name of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller, who yesterday was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor, onto the nation’s list of military heroes.

In January 2008, Miller, at age 24, died in action in Afghanistan, charging the enemy through a hailstorm of bullets to give 22 other soldiers a chance to survive. Today, Miller’s family, teammates, and friends gathered at the Pentagon alongside the U.S. military’s most-senior leaders to honor their fallen son’s life, heroism and courage.

Today’s Pentagon ceremony marked Miller’s entry into the building’s Hall of Heroes, where his name and the details of his service will join those of other Medal of Honor recipients.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates praised Miller’s bravery and sacrifice, and the sacrifice of Phil and Maureen Miller, the fallen soldier’s parents.

“Every evening I write notes to the families of young Americans -- as I did to the Millers -- who have given this country the supreme sacrifice,” Gates said. “They are our country’s best, the nation’s sons and daughters, who answered the call of service to defend this country in a time of war.”

Servicemembers such as Miller, Gates said, had “answered what Theodore Roosevelt described as ‘the trumpet call,’ which he said: ‘Is the most inspiring of all sounds, because it summons men to spurn all ease and self-indulgence and bids them forth to the field where they must dare and do and die at need.’"

“Rob [Miller] was one who answered that trumpet call, one who also possessed that extra measure of courage and determination to be at the very tip of the spear in America's wars,” the secretary said.

Gates also recounted the medal’s history and meaning.

“Over the past century, it has gone only to the bravest of the brave, with fewer than a thousand recipients out of the millions of Americans who have served in uniform during that time,” Gates said. “It goes to those who demonstrate exceptional bravery in the face of enemy fire. But it also demands something more of an individual: The knowledge that by embarking on a course of action, losing one’s life is not only possible, it is quite likely.”

During Army Secretary John M. McHugh’s remarks at the ceremony, he described Miller’s interests in gymnastics, basketball, history, languages and the military as he was growing up. Later, as a young Green Beret, Miller brought his characteristic intensity, enthusiasm, leadership and dedication to the job, the Army secretary said.

“He was funny, generous, passionate and determined,” McHugh said of Miller. “He was someone we would all have liked to know … a life that while too short, was a life of extraordinary measure.”

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. said during the ceremony that Miller’s life offered “a glimpse of what is best about our country.” And watching Miller’s parents, brothers and sisters interact, Casey said, made it clear how the young man had turned out to be so extraordinary.

“Each of them had a role in making Robert the man that he was,” Casey said.

The Millers accepted a Medal of Honor flag on their fallen son’s behalf, and unveiled the plaque bearing his name that will be displayed in the Hall of Heroes.

Phil Miller spoke of his son before the ceremony’s conclusion.

“Robert loved what he was doing very much,” Miller said. “He was proven to be very good at what he was doing. And there was no question that he was confident he was fighting and serving for a good cause.”

Miller said his son was a normal, active, mischievous boy while growing up.

“My wife and I believe he is a great example of what America’s youth can do, and how well they can perform, when they’re given the responsibility and the opportunity to do so,” he said.
“We miss him terribly.”

Miller’s actions in Afghanistan as weapons sergeant for Company A, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group have been much-publicized since the award of his medal was announced in September. But a few days before the January 25, 2008, ambush where Miller gave his life, he and a teammate had talked about how they wanted to be remembered.

In an interview before this week’s ceremonies, Staff Sgt. Nicholas McGarry said during that conversation, Miller had told him he wanted to be remembered for how he had lived, and not how he died. As the two single guys on the team, McGarry recalled that he and Miller hung out together, and rode mountain bikes after work.

“He was incredibly joyful – a motivated, energetic person,” McGarry said of his departed friend. “Just a good friend to have around, because he always wanted to do something. He was always in a good mood –- kind of a playful spirit, I guess.”

McGarry said he thinks about Miller every day.

“He was a good friend,” McGarry said. “But if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here.”

President Barack Obama yesterday presented the Medal of Honor posthumously to Miller’s parents during a ceremony held in the East Room of the White House.

This article was sponsored by Police Books.

U.S. - RoK Security Consultative Meetings Press Events Announced

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates will host an honor cordon to welcome the Republic of Korea’s Minister of National Defense Kim Tae-young to the Pentagon.  The cordon will be held on the steps of the River Entrance at , Oct. 8.
Gates and Kim will then participate in the 42nd annual U.S. - RoK Security Consultative Meetings.  A photo spray will be conducted during those meetings at

Following the conclusion of the meetings, Gates and Kim will conduct a joint news briefing at in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973).

Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the Pentagon River Parking Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call 703-697-5131 for escort to the cordon.

This article was sponsored by Police Books.

Today in the Department of Defense, Friday, October 08, 2010

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates hosts an honor cordon to welcome the Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Kim Tae-young to the Pentagon today at .  The cordon will be held on the steps of the Pentagon River Entrance.  Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the Pentagon River Parking Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call 703-697-5131 for escort to the cordon.

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Kim Tae-young conduct a joint press conference at 11 a.m. EDT in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973), following the 42nd Security Consultative Meeting.  Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the River Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call 703-697-5131 for escort into the building.

This article was sponsored by Police Books.