OA Sword – 2011

Lieutenant Commander Dusty Miller Royal Navy – Citation

Since joining HMS COLLINGWOOD in February 2010 Lieutenant Commander ‘Dusty’ Miller has unequivocally demonstrated that he is an outstanding officer and a dynamic and inspirational leader with unbounded energy whose commitment, drive and enthusiasm for his day-job and all the other extra-curricular activities to which he dedicates himself is nothing short of extraordinary.   In addition to his responsibilities as Officer in Charge of the Above Water Training Unit, one of the largest Training Units within the Establishment and responsible for delivering in excess of 2000 trainees to the front line, he has set a brilliant example within HMS COLLINGWOOD as a Whole Ship man and an exemplary team player.   

Impervious to the scale of any endeavour in which he is engaged, he is not afraid frequently to work long hours to oversee any number of key initiatives that have done much to improve the standard and efficiency of the training output of the Maritime Warfare School and the standing of COLLINGWOOD within the local community.  He is keenly involved with many affiliations and he has gone out of his way to make sure that COLLINGWOOD’s image is positive both within the Royal Navy and to the wider public.

Professionally, Miller is excellent.  He personally championed an important key project in the case of close range gunners for the reintroduction of live GPMG firings on land ranges, a measure which it is judged has improved significantly local surface defence capability at sea.  In addition, having identified the overlap of close range and military training, he combined successfully the organisations involved with the minimum of disruption and markedly and measurably improved training output.  Innovative and forward thinking, he has also seized the opportunity to improve individual warfare specialist training within the Maritime Composite Training System, encouraging his team to do the same; this is a mantle they have firmly grasped, providing a strong lead to the other training units within the Warfare Group. That said, Miller’s real strength is that all of his accomplishments have been underpinned by his ability selflessly to lead, manage and inspire his ninety or so people, who not only include UK, civilian and Service personnel, but also a number from the United States and Germany; he has the knack of getting the best out of them all, which in turn allows them to get the very best from their students.

Undaunted by his busy day to day work load, Miller willingly took on the additional responsibility for planning and executing COLLINGWOOD’s Open Day, a complete process that spanned 12 months.   Once again a huge commitment of his own time was required, but he turned to with gusto.  His organisation was meticulous his management utterly sound, and he led his team with aplomb.  What was particularly impressive was the calm and unflappable manner in which he took the many last minute changes in his stride, in one case effortlessly sourcing a new supplier for the programmes with only a week to run; in another, patiently marrying up the often conflicting demands and aspiration of the numerous exhibitors and contributors to the event.  On the day, his text book coordination of over 400 staff, which he oversaw by cycling between stances, delivered a first class event that was widely recognised as the best that anyone could remember.  A testament made all the more impressive given that many of his team this year, despite all the hard work, have volunteered to support next year’s event.

Photo of Lt Cdr Paul (Dusty) Miller being presented with the OA sword by OA Chairman Commodore Adrian Whyntie, and Lt Cdr Ken Pile who donated the sword
Lt Cdr Paul (Dusty) Miller is presented with the OA sword by OA Chairman Commodore Adrian Whyntie, and Lt Cdr Ken Pile who donated the sword

In the evenings and at weekends Dusty Miller’s outstanding service in the military is combined with support to the community.  A dedicated and very popular leader of the West End Sea Scouts, he helps lead a vibrant group that has gone from strength to strength and now numbers in excess of 80 scouts, with a waiting list to match.  Here he regularly oversees the weekly drill nights as well supporting annual camping expeditions, all of which do so much to inspire young people within his local area.  More recently and once more in his own time, he has organised a number of highly successful visits to COLLINGWOOD by other local cadet and scout troops, further raising the establishment’s profile in the local community.

In sum, Lieutenant Commander ‘Dusty’ Miller is an exceptional leader and all-rounder who has delivered in every respect.  In doing so, he has not only blazed a trail of marked success, but also demonstrated undeniably that he has an enviable appetite for hard work that allows him to stand out amongst his contemporaries.  Frequently required to work one rank above his substantive rank; he does not disappoint.  Loyal, trusted and capable, he reflects the very best ethos and values of the Service and his exemplary leadership has allowed him to stand out clearly amongst his peers. He therefore has my strongest recommendation for the award of the HMS COLLINGWOOD Officers Association Sword.