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3rd Special Forces Group headquarters to be dedicated in honor of Fort Bragg soldier

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert James Miller was killed by Taliban insurgents Jan. 25, 2008, while protecting his Operational Detachment Alpha teammates during combat operations near the village of Barikowt, Nari District, Konar Province, Afghanistan.

The only Fort Bragg soldier to have earned the Medal of Honor during the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan will be honored today.

The 3rd Special Forces Group will dedicated its headquarters to Staff Sgt. Robert Miller, who was posthumously awarded the nation's highest military award in October 2010.

Miller, who died Jan. 25, 2008, braved enemy fire to allow his soldiers to regroup after an enemy ambush in Afghanistan.

He joins Master Sgt. Gary I. Gordon, Sgt. 1st Class Randall D. Shughart, Sgt. Gordon D. Yntema and Sgt. 1st Class Fred W. Zabitosky, Pfc. Bryant Womack and Cpl. Rodolfo P. Hernandez as soldiers who earned the Medal of Honor and now have buildings or roads named for them on Fort Bragg.

The dedication of the 3rd Special Forces Group headquarters is the opening event for the unit's memorial week, which also includes a stone laying and memorial ceremony.

Col. Patrick Roberson, commander of the 3rd Special Forces Group, will dedicate the building at 11 a.m., officials said.

Miller, 24, was a weapons sergeant for Special Forces Detachment 3312 at the time of his death.

His Special Forces team and its Afghan allies were attacked by well-hidden fighters near Gowardesh in Kunar province.

According to the citation for his medal, Miller's disregard for his own safety allowed his wounded team captain to be moved to safety and helped suppress the attack.

"With total disregard for his own safety, he called for his men to quickly move back to covered positions as he charged the enemy over exposed ground and under overwhelming enemy fire in order to provide protective fire for his team," according to the citation. "While maneuvering to engage the enemy, Staff Sergeant Miller was shot in his upper torso. Ignoring the wound, he continued to push the fight, moving to draw fire from over one hundred enemy fighters upon himself.

"He then again charged forward through an open area in order to allow his teammates to safely reach cover. After killing at least 10 insurgents, wounding dozens more, and repeatedly exposing himself to withering enemy fire while moving from position to position, Staff Sergeant Miller was mortally wounded by enemy fire.

"His extraordinary valor ultimately saved the lives of seven members of his own team and 15 Afghanistan National Army soldiers."

 brooksd@fayobserver.com

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