First Sergeant Miller Retires from the U.S.M.C.: A Class of 2000 Graduate of Chinook High School, Miller is Recognized for 20 Years of Exemplary Service
July 15, 2020
First Sergeant Perry Joshua Miller retired from the United States Marine Corp (U.S.M.C.) recently and was well honored with a ceremony in North Carolina. Miller entered the Delayed Entry Program for the U.S.M.C. in August of 1999. On July 23, 2000 he reported to boot camp at M.C.R.D., San Diego and graduated in October 2000. 20 years later, having served the bulk of his enlistment, Miller retired from the Corp Honorably.
Originally Miller had plans for nearly 40 friends and family to attend but with the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way we go about things only his Father, a Marine Corp Veteran himself, Perry Miller was able to make the trip to North Carolina.
"There was no way I wasn't going to be there," said his Dad. "I was not going to miss his retirement ceremony. And I was so proud to be there. Both myself and his mother (Pauly) are incredibly proud of his service." The senior Miller mention how he is a proud Patriot but at the same time he was glad his son was done, "We are both so proud, he earned it, he deserved it. The ceremony itself was incredible, under the circumstances it was downsized from a pretty big event to a pretty big event," Perry said with a laugh. "Josh had reserved tickets, I think for 40 family, but they had to make it smaller, but it was still pretty big. Josh had his entire current unit there as well as several members from units he had previously served with. On top of that there were a number of Colonels, First Sergeants and multiple Officers on hand to recognize his service."
Perry fondly remembers Josh's time in the service from day one, "I remember the 18-year-old kid I put on an airplane 20 years ago and to be there after he spent basically his entire enlistment in wartime service. It was a super emotional time. So many of his fellow servicemen made sure they were there for Josh to share the moment with him, "So many people spoke passionately about serving with Josh, it was really moving. There were a lot of tears shed. Whoever said grown men don't cry is a fool, there were a lot of wet eyes, including mine and Josh's." One particular story really moved Perry, "There was one female marine that came up to Josh and expressed her love for him and why she called him Dad. This young lady, after spending years going from foster home to foster home, expressed to him how much of a positive impact he had on her life and how important he was to her. That was really special for me to witness. The amount of praise shown to him for his service by those he served with and so many others, I can't even put into words. I just knew there was no way I wasn't going to be there." Perry concluded.
First Sergeant Miller's time served in the United States Marine Corp was everything Perry had stated. It was exemplary, impressive and honorable. It began when Private First Class Miller received orders to report to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron at Marine Corp Air Station Miramar, California. While there Josh was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal and was deployed at one point to Cairo, Egypt as part of Operation Bright Star.
In December of 2002 Miller earned the rank of Corporal and was deployed to Operation Iraq Freedom where he was a part of Operation Noble Eagle crossing the border of Kuwait into Iraq via ground convoy during the "Shock & Awe" of the war.
On February 1, 2004 Miller was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and headed to Iwakuni, Japan. After completing a successful tour in Japan, Miller became a Crew/Flight Engineer on CH-53 E Helicopters. He later moved to Pensacola, Florida where he served at the Rescue Swimmer School. Later he received orders to Brunswick, Maine and completed CH-53 maintenance school.
In April of 2006 Miller returned to Miramar Air Station. In 2007 he was deployed to Al-Asad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In January of 2010 he received orders to Combat Instructor School, School of Infantry West, Camp Pendleton, CA. While there Miller also served billets of Combat Instructor, Platoon Sergeant, Platoon Commander, Company Gunnery Sergeant and Instructor Group - Tactics Chief.
In April 2013 Miller returned to the Fleet Marine Force. After returning again to Miramar, Miller acquired all Flight Instructor certifications and Mechanical qualifications and was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. He then was assigned to the LHD Class Ship, the USS Makin Island and the LPD Class Ship the USS San Diego where he served as the Flight Line Division Chief, Quality Assurance Division Chief and Maintenance Controller.
Miller served on several missions in Africa including the evacuation of the Yemen Embassy in the city of Sana. He then took part in multiple heavy lift missions in Syria, Jordan and Iraq during Operation Inherent Resolve. Miller was promoted to the rank of First Sergeant on February 23, 2018. Miller flew more than 2,700 flight hours aboard the CH-53E, MH-53E and UH-1N Helicopters, acquired 13 different Military Operational Specialties and Navel Enlistment Codes. He served in all three major campaigns of the 21st Century Operation Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Inherent Resolve. Miller also started a non-profit Band of Brothers offering hunting and fishing expeditions to all honorably discharged and active duty veterans.
Miller received a plethora of additional honors and tributes and was awarded 11 Air Medal Strike Flights, two Navy Commendations, three Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medals, two Certificates of Commendation, three Meritorious Masts, two Letters of Appreciation, three Certificates of Appreciation, six Good Conduct Medals, Air Force Outstanding Service Award with Valor, Armed Forces Expedition, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, two Presidential Unit Citations, Overseas Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Service Medal, Inherent Resolve Medal, NATO Medal, National Defense Medal, seven Sea Service Ribbons and was nominated as Staff Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year in 2009. And Combat Instructor of the Year -West in 2011.