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Military service a family legacy

Col. David Miller, the new 377th Air Base Wing commander, receives his first salute from the Airmen of the 377th ABW during the change of command ceremony at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., June 21, 2019. Miller comes to Kirtland from Malmstrom AFB, Mont., where he was commander of the 341st Maintenance Group. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eli Chevalier)

Col. David Miller, the new 377th Air Base Wing commander, receives his first salute from the Airmen of the 377th ABW during the change of command ceremony at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., June 21, 2019. Miller comes to Kirtland from Malmstrom AFB, Mont., where he was commander of the 341st Maintenance Group. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eli Chevalier)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Colonel David S. Miller recently took command of the 377th Air Base Wing. The wing provides highly trained forces in support of the Air Force nuclear enterprise, and expeditionary combat forces to combatant commanders.

The 377th, as Kirtland’s host unit, is responsible for installation security, operations, maintenance and mission support for more than 23,000 military and civilian employees, 14,000 retirees and 10,000 family members who live and work on Kirtland's 52,000 acres.

“I’m a career Airman that loves serving my country. I love working with Airmen as well as all the other services. I have had the opportunity to travel all over the world and work with lots of different communities,” said Miller. “I see my role as making other people’s jobs easier and ensuring all the missions across Kirtland AFB happen more efficiently.”

Miller grew up as a military dependent before commissioning into the Air Force in June 1998.

“When I think about the Airmen we have today and their young families, I can relate and remember moving around, transferring between schools, living on base and trying to pick-up different cultures all over the world,” he added. “I think that is something I can bring to the team … something I have personally experienced that has made me a more informed leader.”

Miller isn’t the only one in his family that has served.

According to Miller, he is the fourth generation to serve. Following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great grandfather.

“To me, being a good leader is first having a heart for wanting to lead people and having your priorities right,” Miller said. “Leadership is not about what is best for you, leadership is about what is best for the person you are willing to protect, help and mentor.”

That leadership philosophy is what Miller is bringing to the 377th ABW as Tiger One.

“Getting the opportunity to be Tiger One, getting a chance to work with and lead the Fighting Tigers of the 377th Air Base Wing: it’s humbling, inspiring and overwhelming, and it’s all of these things all at the same time,” Miller said. “I love the fact that as an air base wing, we have an operational mission. I love that our operational mission touches so many other bases all over the world. I also embrace the opportunity to try and make everybody else’s missions happen.”

Not only does Miller deal with the operational mission the wing has but the second big portion of the wing’s mission is to support the more than 100 mission partners on Kirtland.

“We have 108 mission partners on this base and they all have things that are extremely important to them and extremely important to people that rely on their work,” said Miller. “So I see it as my job to try as best I can to help them make sure their missions happen. Sometimes that will mean allocating resources to them and sometimes that will mean trying to find ways to collaborate together. But I really enjoy that opportunity to work with other people and their organizations to achieve mission success.”

Not only does Miller want to provide the support to all the mission partners on Kirtland, he wants to continue to build upon the already strong relationship the base has with the local community.

“I think we have a really strong relationship with the city of Albuquerque and the surrounding areas including the Pueblos,” Miller said. “I look to build upon that and I want to hear about their concerns and I want hear the ways we can collaborate together.”