MT’s Mike Miles and the UH-1 “Huey” Helicopter Retire Together
On October 2, 2009, MT’s Mike Miles flew the final flight of his 40-year military aviation career, while serving as the Pilot-in-Command of a UH-1 helicopter during a special retirement ceremony for the well-known “Huey” at Ft. Myer, Virginia. Mike flew the UH-1 to and from the retirement ceremony at Ft. Myer and received permission to retire the helicopter from the active aircraft inventory following 49 years of service.
Mike’s selection to pilot the UH-1 during its retirement marked the end of distinguished careers for both Mike and the Huey. Mike joined the U.S. Army in April 1969, graduated from flight school in November 1970 and reported immediately to the Republic of Vietnam. While in Vietnam, Mike served with the 129th Assault Helicopter Company, 1st Aviation Brigade as a helicopter pilot until November 1971. During his overseas tour, Mike was assigned as the unit’s instructor pilot in the UH-1 and was responsible for the training of South Vietnamese pilots assigned to the unit. As a result of his service in Vietnam, Mike was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 24 Air Medals, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal. During his one-year tour, Mike flew over 1,225 combat flight hours in just 11 months.
Following his release from active duty, Mike joined the Prince Georges County Police Department in 1972. During his career as a police officer, he held assignments as a Patrolman, Special Operations Division, Pilot (airplane and helicopter), Investigator, and Polygraph Examiner. He retired from the police department in 1992.
Between 1972 and 2009, Mike continued his military service as a member of the Army Reserves and the Army National Guard, joining the Army Reserves in 1972 and then transferring to the District of Columbia Army National Guard (DCNG) in 1978. In 1982, Mike was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. During his tour of duty with the DCNG he served as a Pilot, Platoon Leader, Company Commander (UH-1’s), State Aviation Safety Officer (ASO), and State Aviation Detachment Commander (UH-60’s), and achieved the rank of Major. He has been a member of the DCNG since 1978, and he last served as the unit’s ASO. He’s qualified in the UH-1, UH-60, and the UH-72 helicopters, and he’s also Night Vision Goggle/NVG Mission qualified. Mike has flown more than 5,000 total flight hours, with 4,000 hours in helicopters.
Mike graduated from Embry Riddle University in 1988 with a Masters Degree in Aeronautical Science. Following his retirement from the Prince Georges County Police Department In July 1992, he accepted a position with the General Services Administration’s Office of Aviation. He currently serves as the Aviation Safety Program Manager in the Office of Travel, Transportation, and Asset Management. He is responsible for program management of the Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy’s (ICAP) Safety Standards and Training Subcommittee (SSTS) and aviation safety related initiatives.
Following the completion of his final flight on October 2, 2009, both Major Miles and the UH-1 Huey retired from active service. Congratulations to Mike for his long and distinguished service to our country.