Colonel Doug “Flounder” Miller is one of many veterans that currently reside in Putnam County.
Col. Miller served our country for 26 years in the United States Air Force as a combat fighter pilot from 1982 to 2008.
Miller was a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours. He flew in combat missions during Operation Desert Storm, Provide Comfort, Deny Flight, Northern Watch and Allied Force. His military awards NY CRO and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak SSING leaf clusters and the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster.
Miller says he grew up in a military family and grew up wanting to fly fighter aircrafts because he thought it would be the “most exciting career possible.” His dream came true in 1982 after he graduated from the University of Maryland and received his commission through the Officer Training School and attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Laughlin Air Force Base (AFB) in Texas. After attending F-111 training at Mountain Home AFB in Idaho, he returned to Pease AFB flying FB-111s with the Strategic Air Command, providing strategic nuclear deterrence during the Cold War.
In 1990, he was assigned to the 492nd Fighter Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, England, flying F-111Fs. He flew in 26 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm.
“It takes a strong family to make a military career,” said Miller. “I deployed to combat locations multiple times with little communication back home. My wife, Kelly, had to take care of everything sometimes living in a country that did not speak English and away from family to support.”
“My family moved 14 times over my 26-year career and my son attended four different high schools,” explained Miller. “On the positive side, we took advantage of living overseas three separate times and traveled.”
Miller says he also flew in 26 combat missions during the Gulf War in 1991 in the F-111F and said he flew on the first night.
“We were deployed to Taif, Saudi Arabia and my target on night one was a chemical storage facility all the way across Iraq close to the Iranian border,” he recalled. “We took advantage of the aircraft’s Terrain Following Radar flying under Iraqi anti-aircraft fire all the way across Iraq and back.”
Colonel Miller was assigned as the Deputy Director, Air, Space & Information Operations, HQ Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Ga in 2005 where he retired from in 2008 after 26 years of active duty.