OTF Soldier Story for July 27, 2009 - Col. Katherine Miller
Current Unit: Army Corrections Command, Headquarters
Current Position: Commander
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Washington, D.C.
Hometown: Virginia City, Nev.
Years of Service: 33
As the Deputy Provost Marshal General for U.S. Army Corrections Command, Col. Katherine Miller oversees six military prisons throughout the world. A born leader, Miller has always excelled, consistently earning honors for being at the top of her class in every school she attended. When she attended Officer Candidate School (OCS), however, Miller found she had a worthy rival in another student. Despite her best efforts, Miller had to settle for second place in the rankings as the top honor was given to another Soldier, Col. (Ret.) William Long. Miller found Long's drive, energy and humor irresistible, and the two top students were married shortly after OCS graduation.
Over the past three decades, the Army couple has served together on the battlefield and the home front, teaching their children, Mica and Noah, and the Soldiers in their command to be the best they can be.
When Miller deployed to Afghanistan in 2005 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, she knew her husband would keep life at home on track and that she had the support of her entire family to go out and complete her mission. Knowing first-hand the importance of keeping her Soldiers' minds focused on the mission rather than missing home, Miller organized a series of sporting competitions designed to boost morale and increase camaraderie. The event, which was called the PIG Bowl, standing for Pride, Intelligence and Guts, challenged her Soldiers' skills and raised money for the families of Soldiers killed in action. Miller also applied some of her experiences as a mother to furthering her mission with the Afghan people. Recognizing the universal relevance of family, Miller shared stories about her own family with locals to break down cultural barriers and to foster relationships. As a result of her accomplishments as a Military Police Officer, Miller received the Bronze Star Medal for leadership and meritorious service.
Although Miller was away for long periods during her daughter's teen years due to multiple deployments, she knows that she and her husband, together, have raised a strong and independent young woman. Her daughter Mica, a member of the Virginia National Guard and an ROTC cadet at George Mason University, has given Miller a new understanding of her Soldiers. She sees potential for greatness in each of her Soldiers, and pushes each of them to strive to be their best selves.
Armed with her own experiences and lessons learned from raising children in a dual-military family, Miller is committed to other Soldiers raise their own Army Strong families by mentoring junior Soldiers and their spouses. She currently resides with her husband and two children in Fort Belvoir, Va.