Nathan M. Miller graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in May, 1995 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and cross-commissioned into the Marine Corps as a 2ndLt. He completed The Basic School in March, 1996, and designated a Naval Aviator on 29 January, 1999. In April, 1999, 1stLt Miller reported to VFA-125 at NAS Lemoore for initial F/A-18 pilot training.
Capt Miller was assigned with the “Deathrattlers” of VMFA-323 in MCAS Miramar, CA from May 2000 to June 2003. He held the billets of Ground Safety and NATOPS Officer, Aviation Life Support Officer In Charge (OIC), Powerline OIC, and S-1 OIC. The Deathrattlers deployed twice with Carrier Air Wing TWO (CVW-2) aboard the USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64) in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH (OSW) in 2001 and 2003, then Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF) in 2003. The 2003 deployment was “The Connie’s” last cruise.
From August 2003 to August 2004, Capt Miller was the Assistant Air Officer for the 31st MEU (SOC) in Okinawa, Japan. He coordinated and participated in joint operations and exercises throughout the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, and Celebes Sea with the Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Singaporean, and Thai armed forces. He deployed twice aboard the USS ESSEX (LHD 2).
Capt Miller returned to MCAS Miramar to be an Instructor Pilot with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 101 (VMFAT-101) – the “SharpShooters” – from September 2004 to September 2006. He held the billets of Adjutant and Powerline / Flight Line Division OIC.
In September 2006, Maj Miller was selected to the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (The Blue Angels) aboard NAS Pensacola, FL. He was the Narrator / VIP Pilot as Blue Angel #7 in 2007, the Opposing Solo Pilot (#6) in 2008, and Lead Solo Pilot (#5) in 2009. He held the billets of Assistant to the Operations and Public Affairs Officers, Applicants Officer, and Operations Officer.
Maj Miller joined the “Thunderbolts” of VMFA-251 aboard MCAS Beaufort, SC in December, 2010. He held the billets of Operations Officer and Aircraft Maintenance Officer while the squadron was attached to Carrier Air Wing ONE (CVW-1) aboard the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) for the 2011 deployment supporting Operations ENDURING FREEDOM (OER) and NEW DAWN (OND). He served three months as Marine Aircraft Group 31’s Operations Officer, was promoted to LtCol, then returned to VMFA-251 as the Executive Officer for the 2012 combat deployment with CVW-1 aboard CVN 65 to support OEF; this was “The Big E’s” final cruise.
On 26 December, 2013, LtCol Miller was privileged to assume command of the “Checkerboards” of VMFA-312 while at sea aboard the USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75). He led them through the remainder of their nine-month combat deployment supporting OEF while attached to CVW-3. After returning in April, 2014, the Checkerboards supported MAG-31 operations and ITX 1-15. He relinquishing command on 05 May, 2015.
From August 2015 until July 2016, LtCol Miller attended the National War College in Washington, DC, earning a Master of Strategic Studies degree. He remained in DC until July 2018, serving in the Pentagon as a data analyst with the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Cost Assessment Program Evaluation (CAPE) Ground Combat and Tactical Aviation divisions as well as a Military Assistant.
Col Miller deployed with the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (CJTF-OIR) headquarters aboard FOB Union III in Baghdad, Iraq from August 2018 to August 2019. He served as the Director of Key Leader Engagements for eight months and was selected as the CJTF-OIR Commanding General’s Executive Officer for the final four months of deployment.
Colonel Miller’s decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), one individual Air Medal and one with combat distinguishing device, Strike-Flight Air Medal (5 awards), Navy Commendation Medal (2 awards) and one with combat distinguishing device, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards), and various unit awards. Col Miller was the 2013 recipient of the USMC Tailhooker of the Year award and was assigned to VMFA-323, VMFA-251, and VMFA-312 when these squadrons were awarded as the Marine Corps’ top F/A-18 squadron.