Austin Miller: From Delta Force operator to 4-star General

Eric Sof

Delta Force operators provide personal security for General Austin Miller; During his arrival to Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, 2019

Austin Miller is an American 4-star general and legendary Delta Force captain who led Delta Force operators during Operation Gothic Serpent (Battle of Mogadishu). Austin Miller was portrayed in the Hollywood blockbuster Black Hawk Down. He was among the first to enter Afghanistan in post-9/11 operations.

Today, Miller holds command of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan (Resolute Support Mission). On a few occasions, he was the first commanding officer of the Joint Special Operations Command.

On October 18, 2018, Austin Miller was in the room at the governor’s compound in southern Kandahar when a Taliban gunman shot Abdul Raziq. Miller was not harmed, but drew his sidearm during the shooting, waited until the wounded were attended to, and flew out with the casualties afterward, including Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley.

Early Life

But let’s go to the beginning. Austin Scott Miller was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on May 15, 1961. He went to the United States Military Academy after graduating in 1983. His first assignment was as an infantry officer in the United States Army.

Military Service

Shortly after he settled as an infantry officer, Miller attended Ranger School. Upon graduation, he was assigned a platoon in the 3rd Battalion, 325th Infantry (Airborne), 82nd Airborne Division. Afterward, Austin Miller moved to the 75th Ranger Regiment, where he served as a platoon leader with A Company, 2nd Battalion (Ranger). He served in the 75th Ranger Regiment from January 1986 to May 1987.

General Austin Miller brandishing Glock pistol at his hip
In this picture, Austin Miller, the 4-star general, appears to be carrying a Glock in a hip holster with a threaded barrel and what looks like a red dot sight mounted on the slide. From the picture, it’s difficult to determine the model of the gun. (Photo: XY)

Austin Miller completed Infantry Officer Advanced Course in June 1989 and was assigned to South Korea as a Company Commander with the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry (Mechanized), 2nd Infantry Division, Eighth United States Army. Later he was an instructor at the Special Operations Division School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Delta Force Selection

In 1992, Miller attended the Delta selection course and, upon its completion, was assigned to 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta (1st SFOD-D), or Delta Force, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In the following years, he moved through the ranks. He held numerous leadership positions, including squadron operations officer, troop commander, selection and training commander, Squadron commander, deputy commander, and a commanding officer from 2005 to 2007.

Miller participated in numerous combat operations during Operation Gothic Serpent in Somalia, Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In October 1993, Austin Miller was the ground force commander during the Battle of Mogadishu, while Lieutenant Colonel Gary L. Harrell held operational command of C Squadron, 1st SFOD-D.

The events of that day had become portrayed in Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down.

High-ranking positions

  • Deputy Director for Special Operations, J-37, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C (2008 to 2009)
  • Special assistant to the Director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization in Arlington, Virginia (September 2011 to August 2012)
  • a special assistant to the deputy commanding general, United States Special Operations Command in Washington D.C. (August 2012 to June 2013)
  • the commanding general of the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command in Afghanistan, or CFSOCC-A (June 2013 – June 2014)
  • the commanding general of the United States Army Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning (2014 – 2016)
  • the commanding general of the Joint Special Operations Command (2016 – 2018)
  • command of United States Forces — Afghanistan and the Resolute Support mission (2018 – present)

He graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College, the United States Marine Corps War College, and the Joint and Combined Warfighting School.

Awards and recommendations

Austin Miller’s awards and recommendations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with combat ‘V’ device, and the Purple Heart.

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25 thoughts on “Austin Miller: From Delta Force operator to 4-star General”

  1. General Miller said, What make those women believe Army General on social media romantic chat with stranger? They are not smart!

  2. I used to live in Afghanistan and would like to deliver an important mssg to Scott Miller: do whatever you can to keep Bagram in our hands, there will never be a more important player in the game of leverage with Iran, China and Pakistan. In our hands, with a small “delta” type force, it will be a invaluable confidence booster to Afghan forces and American supporters. Why make it a ready made fortress and comfort zone for our enemy to plan another 9/11 assault on our country?!

  3. He is a terrific leader. I pray he makes it home some day, and lives a long retired life. He’s done much for many for a long time.

  4. Why in God’s name would any sane admin turn over to our arch enemy a gem like Bagram, a place to protect themselves while they, the Taliban and AlQaida, develop plans for another 9-11? Don”t anyone doubt that this will happen! Compared to where they live, this airbase is like the NY Hilton!!

  5. April Laraway, It must be the same person who asked me to send 5k so he could send me his portfolio. He supposedly had to pay a diplomat to send it. He also asked for phone cards and a new laptop. Since my neighbor is a retired Col. from the army I showed him the requests. He said all high ranking officers have every means at their disposal to guarantee the safe return of their personal items. I can see how someone could easily fall for this scam. Thank God I didn’t.

  6. I received the same type request as well, someone stating he was his son also texted me. No money sent there for sure. Now that he is back he can contact the diplomat himself!!!

  7. The scam for General Miller is still going on. Even though he supposed to be home. The scammer needs to check his facts. He is starting to get confused on simple information that a person of his caliber and education should know. With all the technology the government has you would think they could put a stop to this scam and protect someone as important as General Miller has become to the world. God Bless him and his family. Let them live in peace for a change.

  8. Hello General Miller:
    Thank you for your service and sacrifice. You probably can’t count the times you were in danger since you were in Delta Force. With all of the leadership positions you held is very impressive.
    It must make you feel pretty special during the Battle of Mogadishu being the ground force commander then.
    It would be amazing to meet you, but that would be only in a dream! Its such a pleasure to write this note to let you know I appreciate what you have done for our country and your fellow man.
    Thank you and I will make it a point to see the movie “Black Hawk Down”

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