Special Forces pioneer passes away

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http://news.soc.mil/releases/News Archive/2008/December/081215-03.html

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Dec. 15, 2008) - A U.S. Army Special Forces pioneer who fought in three wars passed away Nov. 22, in Memphis, Tenn.

A memorial service will held in the honor of retired Col. William M. “Buzz” Miley Jr., 86, at 2 p.m. Dec. 17, at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Starkville, Miss.

Born into a long line of Soldiers, Miley served 31 years in the United States Army. He was commissioned through Infantry Officers Candidate School in 1942 at Fort Benning, Ga., and completed parachutist training in 1943. He served in combat in the Pacific Theater with the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division.

After occupation duty in Japan, he served again in the 11th Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., in 1950-1951. Miley fought in Korea from 1951-1952 with the 187th Regimental Combat Team (Airborne).

Subsequently, he commanded the Airborne Department at Fort Benning from 1953-1955, and then served as the Secretary of the General Staff of the Berlin Command.

Miley completed Special Forces training at Fort Bragg, N.C. in 1961, and served as a Green Beret until his retirement in 1973. During 1964-1965, he served in Vietnam training South Vietnamese Airborne units. Miley returned stateside as the deputy commander of the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Needing a seasoned combat veteran, Lt. Gen. William P. Yarborough placed Miley as the director of the Special Forces School in 1968. Under Miley's leadership, Special Forces training became more formalized and standards were implemented for those Soldiers attending the course.

Among Miley's awards and decorations are the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal. He earned the Combat Infantry Badge with Star and the Master Parachutist Badge. Miley was also inducted into the Officer Candidate School and Airborne Halls of Fame.

Miley is preceded in death by his parents Maj. Gen. William M. Miley Sr., and Julia Sudduth Miley of Starkville, Miss.

Miley is survived by his wife Rita of Starkville; one brother Jack Miley of Williamsburg, Va.; two daughters, Sara Baglin of Montgomery Village, Md., and Ellen Vick (Morgan) of Murrells Inlet, S.C.; two grandsons, Joel Vick (Jennifer) of Conway, S.C., and Todd Vick of Murrells Inlet, S.C.; and one great-grandson Cooper Vick of Conway, S.C.

Memorials can be sent to the United States Army Special Forces Association Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 41436, Fayetteville, N.C. 28309-1436.

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Col. William M. “Buzz” Miley Jr., a U.S. Army Special Forces pioneer who fought in three wars, passed away Nov. 22, in Memphis, Tenn. (US Army photo)
 
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