Franklin D. Miller was a Green Beret from the 5th SFG who served multiple tours in Vietnam and was awarded the Medal of Honor, Silver Star, two Bronze Stars with “V” device, six Purple Hearts, and the Air Medal. 

On this day in 1970, Miller would be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions conducted as a long-range reconnaissance team member in Vietnam. He would be decorated by President Nixon in the White House on June 15, 1971. 

President Nixon told Miller that as a Medal of Honor recipient, he had the choice of his next assignment. Asked where he wanted to be transferred to next, Miller replied “Vietnam.”

Miller enlisted in the Army in February 1965. After Basic and AIT, he joined Special Forces. After graduation, he was shipped to Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division. (He didn’t initially deploy with SF after having some issues with his commander.) But Miller stayed in Vietnam for two years with the Cavalry and then transferred to the 5th SFG which was in Vietnam at the time.

Miller later became a member of the elite and highly-secretive Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group (MAC-V SOG). The group was a Joint Special Operations command consisting of Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Air Force Commandos, and CIA operations personnel.

Franklin Miller (top right) and his team with MAC-V SOG in Vietnam.

On January 5, 1970, Miller was part of a seven-man long-range reconnaissance patrol of American Green Berets and Montagnard tribesmen. After inserting in Laos, one of the Montagnards tripped a booby trap, which wounded five men in the patrol and brought down a much larger force of North Vietnamese troops.

“Suddenly, 25 to 30 NVA jumped up and began assaulting the ambush site where the blast had occurred,” Miller described later. “At first they weren’t aware of Hyuk [the point man] and me on their flank. We dropped empty magazines, jammed in full ones, and tried to stop the onslaught into the kill zone.”

Miller administered first aid to the wounded and then ordered the troops to a more secure location at the base of a hill across a stream bed. He soon saw what looked like an NVA platoon rapidly approaching his position. Immediately assessing the situation, Miller ordered the patrol to the top of the hill where it would be in a better defensible position.