Roman Millett oral history interview



Roman Millett oral history interview


Born-digital video recording of an oral history with Roman L. Millett and interviewer Ted Lehberger, recorded as part of The Museum of Flight Oral History Program, January 18, 2018.


Vietnam War veteran Roman L. Millett is interviewed about his 22-year career with the United States Army. He discusses his training and experiences as a helicopter pilot, including his wartime service with the 25th Light Infantry Division in Vietnam, where he flew the Bell AH-1G Cobra and the Hughes OH-6A Cayuse. He also describes other notable assignments from his career, such as his training at the U.S. Army Armor School and the Command and General Staff College, his various command positions, and his work at the Pentagon and with the Concepts Analysis Agency. The interview concludes with a brief overview of Millett’s post-military career with Boeing and his docent work at The Museum of Flight.

Table Of Contents

Introduction and personal background -- U.S. Army commission and training -- Logistics of airborne infantry units -- Airborne Ranger service and helicopter training -- Orders to Vietnam -- Deployment to Vietnam and assignment to the 25th Light Infantry Division -- First mission and helicopter armament -- Role of the Loach (Light Observation Helicopter) and Bell Cobra -- Continuation of first Cobra mission -- Loach assignment -- Reflections on U.S. leadership and strategy during the Vietnam War -- Advanced Armor School and command assignments -- Combined Arms and Staff School and Command and General Staff College -- Work at the Pentagon -- Final assignments -- Boeing career and docent work at The Museum of Flight





1 recording (1 hr., 17 min., 10 sec.) : digital



Bibliographic Citation

The Museum of Flight Oral History Collection/The Museum of Flight





Biographical Text

Roman L. Millett is a Vietnam War veteran who served with the United States Army for 22 years. He was born in Washington State and attended Saint Anthony’s Parochial School (Renton, Washington) and Renton High School. After completing high school, he attended Seattle University and earned a degree in sociology. He also participated in the university’s ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) program and the Army Aviation Cadet Program. He graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate, which granted him a regular Army commission.

During the late 1960s, Millett attended the Armor School, Airborne School, and Ranger School at Fort Benning (Georgia). Afterwards, he served as an Airborne Ranger and platoon leader with the 1st Squadron of the 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. He entered helicopter flight training at Fort Wolters (Texas) in 1969, then completed transition training for the Bell AH-1G Cobra at Hunter Army Airfield (Georgia).

Upon completion of his flight training, Millett was deployed to Vietnam. He arrived in country in early 1970 and was assigned to the 25th Light Infantry Division, headquartered at Cu Chi. During his year-long combat tour, Millett flew missions in the AH-1G Cobra and Hughes OH-6A Cayuse, commonly known as the Loach. He also served as executive officer.

After returning to the United States, Millett’s next assignments included attending the advanced Armor School course at Fort Knox (Kentucky), serving with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Lewis (Washington) and Fort Bliss (Texas), serving with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg (North Carolina), and teaching at the Combined Arms and Staff School. In the early 1980s, he attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth (Kansas) and afterwards worked at the Pentagon. His final assignments included serving as Assistant Aviation Division Chief and Aviation Division Chief for the First Army and working for the Concepts Analysis Agency. Millett retired in 1989 as a lieutenant colonel.

As a civilian, Millett worked for Boeing as a manufacturing engineer. He retired in 2015 after a 17-year career with the company. He also earned his FAA dispatcher license, though he never worked in that capacity. He joined The Museum of Flight Docent Corps in 2004 and was still an active volunteer as of 2018.

Biographical information derived from interview and additional information provided by interviewee.