Milburn, Stephen G.

Stephen G. (Steve) Milburn, Major (Army of the United States, Retired) enlisted in the US Army from Redlands CA, December 1961. He retired from the Army following 20 years active duty and worked another 26 years as a Department of the Army Civilian employee. Major Milburn holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Finance and Management, and a MBA degree. Steve retired from Civil Service at Redstone Arsenal in December 2007 and now resides with his Wife in Madison, AL. His initial enlisted career provided him with valuable military skills and experiences. He served as an Infantry Private / Corporal / Sergeant / Staff Sergeant for the first 8 years of service. He held Leadership and Staff positions, with assignments including several posts in the United States, Korea, and West Germany, until reporting for Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Ft. Benning, GA, August 1967. He was his OCS Class Honor and Distinguished Graduate. Shortly following being Commissioned an Infantry Second Lieutenant, February 9th, 1968 he attended Ranger School, earning the coveted “Tab.” At the next assignment he became an Infantry Commander at Platoon and Company levels with 5th Bn 6th Infantry Regiment, 6th Infantry Division, Ft. Campbell, KY. Follow on assignments took 2Lt. Milburn to Ft. Bragg, NC for the Military Assistance Training Advisor (MATA) Course and then to Jungle Warfare School, Ft. Sherman, Panama Canal Zone. He deployed to Vietnam in December 1968. Lieutenant Milburn began the first of his two combat tours with the US Military Assistance Command - Vietnam (MACV) when assigned as an Assistant Battalion Advisor with the Vietnamese Army’s 44th Ranger Battalion, IV Corps, Republic of Vietnam. 1LT Milburn distinguished himself for gallantry in action while serving as Senior Advisor, 32nd Ranger Bn. While the unit was conducting a search and destroy operation on May 8, 1969, the battalion was ambushed by a superior enemy force and came under intense small arms, mortar and rocket fire from three sides. 1LT Milburn, without regard to his personal safety, moved through withering enemy fire to reach forward positions where he willingly and continually exposed himself to intense fire so he could advise his pinned down Vietnamese counterparts; he called for and adjust US artillery and direct air strikes onto enemy positions. As the battle continued 1LT Milburn concurrently coordinated the removal of casualties out of the kill zone and into secured locations for medevac. Inspired by his valiant and courageous example, the Rangers, though at a distinct tactical disadvantage, reorganized and pressed a counter attack throughout the night and into the following day. For 32 hours the Ranger’s attack was pressed and ultimately broke the enemy defenses, they moved on to destroy a large Vietcong (VC) base camp and regional military supply depot. The enemy left thirty-six dead on the battlefield, with vivid indications of many additional VC/NVA casualties resulting from friendly artillery and air strike munitions. For his gallantry in action 1LT Milburn was awarded the Silver Star Medal. Previously on March 5th, 1969 1LT Milburn was recognized for heroism while serving as an Advisor to the 44th Ranger Bn and local Regional Force units. The friendly organizations were involved in air assault operations into what turned into a “hot” landing zone (LZ) and close combat ground engagements. He repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire while moving about the battlefield. He left protected positions to identify hostile fire sources; coordinate tactical options with his Vietnamese counterparts, organize arriving friendly troops; direct air, artillery, and friendly ground fires. As the air assault continued, 1LT Milburn directed causality collection and evacuations from around the LZ using departing, now unloaded, US helicopters. For his unselfish acts of bravery 1LT Milburn was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for Valor. Later that same year, on August 29, 1969, 1LT Milburn again distinguished himself by heroic actions while serving as MACV Senior Advisor to the combined 44th Ranger Bn., 4th Ranger Group, RVN Army and Vietnamese Armored Cavalry Task Force (TF). On this date 1LT Milburn was moving with the TF conducting search and destroy operations with Rangers traveling mounted atop the armored vehicles. The mechanized column, moving on a narrow gravel road in a mountainous, heavily populated area, came under withering enemy small arms, mortar, and rocket fire which inflicted casualties on friendly military personnel and local civilians. 1LT Milburn left the safety of the armored vehicle he was traveling on and moved forward to the head of the column on foot, under intense enemy fire to assess the tactical situation, coordinate available counter fires, and make calls for tactical air and artillery support. When he saw the extent of friendly casualties he called in medevac helicopters. Disregarding his own safety, in spite of continuing heavy hostile fire, he was able to collect and ultimately evacuate all the dead and wounded. 1LT Milburn then returned to a forward position where he could better observe the ongoing fight; support the Rangers’ dismounted counterattack, and provide tactical recommendations to the Vietnamese TF Command Group. 1LT Milburn’s heroic actions reflected great credit upon himself and the US Military Advisory Command. For his selfless acts 1LT Milburn was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for Valor. 1LT Milburn also received two Purple Heart Medals for severe small arms wounds received, one each for wounds requiring medical evacuation during the first and second tours in Vietnam with while serving with Vietnamese Ranger Battalions as a MACV Advisor. Add here - SS Medal graphic BS w/ “V” device graphic ARCOM w/ “V” device graphic PH w/ Oak Leaf device Perhaps my HoH photo and, if useful, my RVN picture taken just before departing on an ambush patrol can go here at the bottom