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John Grider Miller

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Colonel John Grider Miller, USMC (ret.) was the managing editor of the Naval Institute’s Proceedings and Naval History magazines.  A 1957 Yale University Graduate, Colonel John Grider Miller saw significant infantry service with the Marine Corps including two tours of duty in Vietnam as a rifle company commander and an advisor to the South Vietnamese military.  He also served as the deputy directory of Marine Corps history and principal speech writer for three Marine Corps Commandants. John Grider Miller is the author of The Bridge at Dong Ha; Battle to Save the Houston: October 1944 to March 1945; and, The Co-Vans: U.S. Marine Advisors in Vietnam.  Colonel John Grider Miller is also the co-author of Punching Out: Launching a Post-Military Career.


The Library Journal said of The Bridge at Dong Ha, “On Easter 1972 Captain John Ripley braved light weapons fire from North Vietnamese troops to rig explosives to a bridge crossing the Cua Viet River. When the span fell, a major route into the South was closed to the massed troops, and part of the momentum for the so-called Nguyen Hue offensive was temporarily blunted. Ripley's gallant effort was especially courageous since he was acting against a command suggestion to hold the bridge for a counterattack that could not have been mounted, and South Vietnamese troops were in disarray and fleeing to the South all around the Vietnamese unit he advised. Miller's narration of this small action tends more toward the sensational than the historical; the violent and vividly told story may appeal widely to adventure readers.”

According to the book description of Battle to Save the Houston: October 1944 to March 1945, “A World War II adventure story of epic proportions, this book tells the heroic tale of a dedicated band of men who refused to let their crippled ship sink to the bottom of the Pacific in late 1944. Based on over seventy eyewitness accounts and hundreds of official documents and personal papers, it records in rich detail the USS Houston's 14,000-mile perilous journey home to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Part of Bull Halsey's famous Pacific Task Force 38, the Houston had been supporting air strikes as a prelude to the Battle of Leyte Gulf, when she took an aerial torpedo hit that caused serious flooding. Nearly two-thirds of the crew abandoned ship before the damage-control officer convinced the captain she might be saved. Another torpedo hit two days later complicated the crew's desperate fight. Surrounded by death, floodwaters, and fire, stalked by enemy subs, threatened by air attack, and running from a typhoon, the men of the Houston remained towers of strength while knowing their ship was never more than minutes away from breaking apart. John Miller's action-packed account gives insights into the nature of heroism and leadership that remain valuable today. Exceptional photographic documentation accompanies the text.”

Publisher’s Weekly said of Punching Out: Launching a Post-Military Career, “Because of military cutbacks, service personnel who expected to complete their terms or to serve until retirement now find themselves unemployed in an overcrowded job market. Mastin, an executive recruiter, and Miller, an editor at the U.S. Naval Institute, here offer guidelines for entering civilian life. Their suggestions on taking stock of one's experiences and talents and assessing options are useful to anyone, military or civilian, considering a career change. The authors also present techniques for securing interviews, making a favorable impression and negotiating offers, material that is likely to seem simplistic to veterans of corporate America. But to those for whom the process is unfamiliar, the book will be a helpful introductory guide to finding a job out of uniform.”

The Bridge at Dong Ha (Bluejacket Books)
John Grider Miller  More Info

The Co-Vans: U.S. Marine Advisors in Vietnam
John Grider Miller  More Info

Battle to Save the Houston: October 1944 to March 1945 (Bluejacket Books)
John Grider Miller  More Info
Punching Out: Launching a Post-Military Career
Fred Mastin  More Info

According to the book description of The Co-Vans: U.S. Marine Advisors in Vietnam, “Depending upon where and when they served, Americans had vastly different experiences in the Vietnam War. Among the more unique experiences were those of the advisors who worked closely with their Vietnamese counterparts, sharing the dangers, privations, local politics, tactical victories, and ultimate defeat as part of the long saga of the Vietnam War. U.S. Marines worked more closely than other advisors with the Vietnamese and were often on their own to deal with the vastly different culture and difficult cause. Despite these obstacles and arduous circumstances, the advisors, called co-vans in Vietnamese, did a credible job amidst a war far from home, upholding the honor of the Corps and infusing their allies with an esprit de corps that made the Vietnamese Marines a potent fighting force.


John Miller, a co-van himself, has captured their experiences in this very readable, often humorous, sometimes poignant book. With the same writing style that earned him writing awards and thousands of readers in his earlier book on John Ripley's heroism at a bridge in Vietnam, Miller captures the grit of life in the field, the no-nonsense view of men at arms no matter what the nationality, and the smell of cordite in the air. But more than a combat memoir, this is an introspective and thought-provoking look at an unusual mission in a war in an inscrutable culture at a time when Americans and their values were under fire.”

© 2006 - 2009 Raymond E. Foster, Hi Tech Criminal Justice