Colonel Michael Martin Miller began his aviation career in 1955 while attending US Air Force basic training Geneva, New York. After completing flight training on several aircraft, Col. Miller returned to Columbia and the SC Air National Guard (SCANG). Deploying to Moron, Spain, he flew with SCANG during the Berlin Crisis in November 1961. Upon his return to McEntire AFB, he remained on active duty.


In 1964, Col. Miller voluntarily deployed to Southeast Asia to fly with the South Vietnamese Air Force, where on a mission to protect a downed aircraft, he took on intense ground fire. The damage caused a fuel leak, forcing Miller to land on a dirt strip in the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone. Upon inspection, the aircraft showed 19 bullet holes. Miller was awarded the Silver Star for his gallant actions.


After his combat tour, Col. Miller was selected to The Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team, where he served from 1966 to 1969. He also worked on assignment with the Pentagon, then volunteered to return to combat in Southeast Asia in 1972. He served as University of Virginia USAF ROTC Commander, Base Commander at Izmir Air Base in Turkey, and Vice Wing Commander of the 507th Tactical Air Control Wing at Shaw AFB in Sumter, South Carolina.


Upon military retirement in 1981, Miller became a F-16 flight simulator instructor at Shaw AFB and MacDill AFB.