433rd OG commander retires after 35 years of service

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jacob Lewis
  • 433rd Airlift Wing

Family, friends and Citizen Airmen gathered to celebrate the retirement of Col. James C. Miller, 433rd Operations Group commander, during a ceremony here, Jan. 6.

Col. William Gutermuth, 433rd Airlift Wing commander, presided over the ceremony, presenting Miller with a Legion Merit Service Medal, letters of appreciation and other accolades.

“Throughout his time at the 433rd OG, he used his influence to stand up for his aircrew making sure they got what they needed both on and off the jet,” said Gutermuth. “While at the same time not forgetting those who came before him seeing to it that retirees never felt forgotten. He not only cared about people, he believed in them.”

Miller expressed a great deal of gratitude to those he’s worked with and have supported him throughout the years.  He especially wanted to highlight the support from his family.

“For our dependents here, I think it’s funny that we call you a dependent, because we are the ones who depend on you so much,” said Miller before he pulled out a stack of hotel key cards from his travels in the military. “This key represents when one of the kids was sick, this one was for when the car broke down, but more than anything, it is a testament to my wife Kelly, Colin, Claire, and Casey for what they had to do without me. I just can’t thank our dependents enough for what they do for us.”

Miller began his Air Force career in 1988 as an aircraft maintenance crew chief working on the KC-10 Extender at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. In 2001, Miller joined the 433rd AW and, in 2019, attained the rank of Colonel.

Miller led missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, has served in seven combat zones, and supported humanitarian efforts during disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, and Maria. In total, he has more than 6,400 flight hours and 500 combat flight hours.