Brian E. Miller first learned about duty and honor from a retired colonel who loved the beach.
“My grandfather was the biggest influence,” the Carlisle native said of Thomas Neier, a World War II veteran. “He would tell us some stories about West Point and being in the Army.”
The old soldier reinforced his eyewitness accounts with artifacts he kept from assignments with coastal artillery and air defense units. The memories had an impression on Miller, a 1986 Carlisle High School graduate recently promoted to brigadier general.
“I feel very honored and blessed,” said Miller, an Army Reserve officer now living in Red Bank, New Jersey. “I feel humbled by the trust placed upon me and the responsibility that comes with the position.”
As deputy commander of the 412th Theater Engineer Command, Miller oversees 12,000 Army Reserve engineers in 26 states in the eastern U.S. The 412th provides senior-level engineering support and guidance to armies and regional commands.
Earlier this month, Miller traveled to South Korea where he met with other Army engineers to review the challenges in terrain both to facilitate the movement of U.S. forces and its allies and to contain any advance by North Korean forces. There have been heightened tensions in recent months over the North launching missiles in support of its developing nuclear weapons program.
“I didn’t see any apprehension or fear,” Miller said of his visit to the peninsula. “I saw a very professional group of people. We’re always preparing to be ready to fight and win our nation’s war. … Korea is no different.”
After graduating from Carlisle, Miller enrolled in ROTC at Duke University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and materials science in 1990. He then earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University in 1992.
Miller has been in the Army Reserves for most of his 27 years in the military. From the start, he wanted the life of a citizen-soldier who held down a civilian job but served his country when called upon.
“I appreciate the concept of the musket behind the door,” Miller said referring to the Army’s colonial origins.
In the course of his Army career, Miller deployed to Bosnia in 1995-96 and 2001-02, Iraq in 2004-05 and Afghanistan in 2014-15. As an adviser, he helped to build an engineering capability within the Iraqi army and to establish better processes and procedures for an Afghani two-star Army general to run and maintain ground facilities.
Over the years, Miller earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School in 2001 and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Army War College distance education program in 2014.
“I needed every year of experience,” Miller said referring to his Nov. 18 promotion to general. “The Army has provided me with deployments, positions and jobs that have been great for preparing me for that next step.”
As a civilian, Miller works for the Public Service Enterprise Group, a power production company and electric and natural gas utility. Based out of Hicksville, New York, he is director of procurement for the PSEG Long Island electrical grid.