Retired Brigadier General Gerry Miller, USMC, a Fox Valley native and resident of Combined Locks, WI was honored on 2 NOV 2012 by the Marquette NROTC Alumni & Friends Association as Alumnus of the Year at the Navy & Marine Corps Ball at the Milwaukee Hilton.
General Miller earned his B.A. degree in political science in 1964 as a Marquette University NROTC Midshipman. He received numerous decorations and medals over the next three decades of his U.S. Marine Corps career, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with numeral 16, Navy Commendation Medal with two gold stars, and Vietnam Service Medal with Silver Star, and Combat Action Ribbon.
Miller first served in 1965 as infantry platoon commander in the Republic of Vietnam. Following recruiting duty in Chicago, and completing flight training, he became a Naval Aviator in 1968. Captain Miller served at El Toro, CA before returning to Vietnam in a reconnaissance squadron. Amphibious Warfare School at Quantico, Virginia led to Miller’s service in Pensacola, Florida as a Navy squadron training instructor.
He returned to Marquette, where he earned his law degree in 1975 and a promotion to major. He held key legal positions at El Toro and Camp Butler, Okinawa. Lieutenant Colonel Miller then became staff judge advocate of the First Marine Brigade at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. The Army War College in Carlisle, PA then led to his promotion to colonel in 1984.
Miller practiced law with the Judge Advocate General’s office in Washington, D.C., then Camp Pendleton, CA and again in D.C., where he became Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Judge Advocate General Director at HQ Marine Corps. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1990.
General Miller volunteered his legal services after retirement to the Trial Lawyers of America and Daughters of the American Revolution. He joined the American Legion, Marine Corps Association, Appleton Flag Day committee, and served eight years as general counsel for the Corps Aviation Association. He helped form the MU NROTC Alumni & Friends Association. He is deeply involved with St. Paul Parish and the Green Bay Diocese. Miller and his wife Lynn have two daughters and one son, who is an alumnus of Marquette’s NROTC class of 1988 and a former U.S. Marine Corps captain.
Robert L Christensen
The first “Young Alumnus of the Year” award was presented on 2 NOV 2012 to U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant Robert L. Christensen, a 2009 Marquette University graduate and native of Normal, IL. Christensen is a decorated veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The award was presented by the Marquette NROTC Alumni & Friends Association at the Navy & Marine Corps Ball at the Milwaukee Hilton.
Christensen earned a bachelor’s degree in arts and sciences as an NROTC Midshipman in 2009, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. His deployment during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from April to November of 2011 earned him a Combat Action Ribbon, Purple Heart and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V”.
As an infantry platoon commander in a 2nd Marine Division Regimental Combat Team, Christensen led 21 platoon reinforced patrols, five clearing operations and 123 security patrols in the Upper Gereshk Valley Green Zone of Afghanistan, including over 40 complex confrontations against insurgents. Under his command were over 70 Marines and Sailors, and for three months, an additional 45 Afghan National Security Force troops.
On 27 May 2011, Christensen’s team came under heavy fire from insurgents covered by a tree line. A round struck his weapon, wounding his hand and face. Ignoring injury, he redeployed a squad under cover of smoke to flank the enemy, forcing them to withdraw and become targets. On 20 July, while on a dangerous assignment, Christensen ignored shrapnel wounds to his back while safely evacuating his wounded men. One week later he led a successful helicopter-borne assault on an insurgent-held compound against close-range fire. When evacuation aircraft came under fire, Christensen redirected fire on the enemy, resulting in the safe evacuation of his men and many enemy casualties.
A later mission involved securing a supply line. Despite the death in action of his platoon sergeant, Christensen established four independent positions and an outpost for his Marines and Afghan Police, keeping morale high in the face of enemy attacks. He directed artillery and aviation support during 18 battles to protect his unit and repel the enemy, and effectively maintained a vital supply channel for the area.
His parents are U.S. Navy Captain Scott Christensen, MU NROTC class of 1983, and Amy, MU class of 1982.