Sergeant, U.S. Army


Derrick Miller is a man of stellar character.  Raised in Frederick, Maryland, Derrick joined the Maryland National Guard in 2006.  According to Derrick's mother, he felt it was his duty as an American to join the National Guard.  He is the father of two girls.  Formerly a security guard at Fort Detrick, SGT Miller volunteered for multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and at the time of the incident, had recently been promoted to Sergeant. The soldiers he served with described him as an “outstanding soldier” in the “top 5 percentile” of NCOs, who was “peaceful,” “calm,” and the “moral compass” of his unit.  Derrick was seen as a "squared away" soldier who acted "reasonably in pressure situations."  His commanding officer describes Derrick as a model soldier. 


At the time of the incident, Miller was serving with the Connecticut National Guard and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team, a unit that was at the spearhead of fighting in Afghanistan.  The only reason Derrick detained the Afghan suspect was that he believed that interrogating him would save lives. The testimony of Derrick’s comrades backs up everything from the intelligence about Taliban surveillance to the identification of the Afghan man as the truck driver to the subsequent attack.  Moreover, because Derrick’s offense was committed in a unique combat context, it will never recur. When he is released, he will return to the peaceful, law-abiding life he has always lived.

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