Pushing His Limits In and Out of the Army
Unlike Clint Eastwood’s line in the movie Magnum Force, “a man’s got to know his limitations,” Jeremy Miller has long pushed his own envelope. After high school graduation in 1988 he enlisted in the U.S. Army to become a member of the Army band. Miller soon seized the opportunity and challenge of becoming a Green Beret, in the Special Forces. He was fortunate to make it through selection and the Q-course as an 18E “communications” MOS (job), then language school for Farsi. He was assigned to 5th Special Forces Group and just as soon as he arrived, he was deployed to Somalia and later to Kuwait.
“Even as a kid I always tried my hand in a lot of endeavors, looking to go big, and the opportunity to serve our country as a Green Beret was that” said Miller, 52.
While Special Forces soldiers are crossed-trained in the other MOS’s on the Team, Miller’s primary duties were to oversee all communication training, and supervision and maintenance of communications – including cryptology, satellite, radio and internet.
He left active duty at the end of 1996 and joined A Co 2/20th Special Forces Group, National Guard for two years and exited in 1998. He launched a real estate business and a web development company, along with other entrepreneurial pursuits. In late 2007, he rejoined the fight.
“I still had a lot of buddies serving and wanted to go back and do my part to help them” said Miller, an Indiana native. He was assigned to A Co 2/20th Special Forces Group at the same rank and duties as his previous enlistment. While deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 he soon played an after-the-fact part in two milestones in military history, one of which was made into a book and movie.
The Battle of Ganjgal in September, 2009 saw Taliban fighters ambush American and Afghan forces in a deadly nine-hour battle that resulted in numerous American and Afghan casualties. The defeat was partially blamed on Afghan Army informants and a lack of air support due to the “rules of engagement” protocol of that time. Bravery under a dire situation brought the Medal of Honor to two American soldiers, Army Captain William D. Swenson and Marine Corporal Dakota L. Meyer. Miller and his team arrived just after as part of a clean-up operation, and to search out any remaining Taliban and remaining fighting-age males.
Less than a month later Miller served in another clean-up operation after a deadly battle at American Combat Outpost Keating near the town of Kamdesh in Afghanistan, which was attacked by more than 400 Taliban soldiers. The base was eventually abandoned, but American Staff Sergeants Clinton L. Romesha and Ty M. Carter received the Medal of Honor for their actions. The struggle was depicted in the book “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor” by Jake Tapper in 2012 and “The Outpost” film in 2020, starring Clint Eastwood’s son, Scott Eastwood.
“Our unit wasn’t directly involved in either battle. As fate would have it again, just after the fighting ended, our team along with two other teams and 100 Commandos arrived to clear remaining fighting-age males from the area. We were not set up as their QRF (quick reaction force). It was almost like we were the quick SLOW reaction force – as such we just missed both fights.”
“Going back to serve after a ten-year break in service for me was not about medals or rank, but to serve our country, support my fellow soldiers and just do my part. I did that and then got back out of the service.”
Miller continues to do his duty to support his fellow Green Berets, this time as President of the Special Forces Association Chapter 500 in Indiana, where he oversees programs that provide support to veterans and their families, including transition to civilian life. He attended the Special Forces Association’s Annual Convention in Colorado Springs September 21-25. The Convention was managed by Armed Forces Reunions (AFR), the nation’s leading military event planner for over 30 years. Over 850 veterans, families and friends took part in the festivities, remembrances, and tributes to the fallen.
“The Convention was an exceptional event; we had four living medal of honor recipients, two of which shared their stories. While both a somber and enlightening reunion, there was time for camaraderie, trading stories and honoring those we’ve lost. We also had the privilege of sharing time with generations of Special Forces Association members and looking at how we’ve evolved over the years. Chapter 500 has the pleasure of hosting next year’s Convention in Indianapolis, and of course AFR will be planning that.”
Miller again expanded his boundaries with the launch of Lionfish Cyber Security in 2018. Named after the predatory ocean creature, not unlike today’s computer hackers, the company helps businesses defend themselves in the cyber war. As CEO he relies on communications skills from the army and his entrepreneurial expertise to help clients protect themselves against cybercrime here and abroad. Miller and his staff employ the By-With-Through model he learned in the Special Forces.
“You get to help these businesses stand on their own, like we tried to do for the Afghanistan army, working by-with-and-through them to help protect them from the enemy. The cyber threat is growing every day, not only for businesses but our national security. We have a critical job to tackle.”
Miller’s future goals are to grow Lionfish to serve more firms both in America and globally, and continue his ardent support of veterans through Indiana Chapter 500. He is also a board member of several non-profit organizations. When not working or volunteering, Miller has had a long passion for pushing himself. In 2017 he did three Ultra Marathons, including running a 240-mile course through MOAB Utah, the MOAB240. After two recent left hip replacements, “I’m in a holding pattern now, but I’ll be back on the trails,” said Miller, who lives with wife Jenelle in Westfield and has two daughters Isabelle and Alayna, both in college. “In all aspects of life, if you set boundaries too low, you’ll probably end up there. I would rather shoot for the stars and if I miss, land on the moon”
By Scott B. McCaskey, Creative Writer for Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. and AFR Tours.