The deputy commander of Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s I Corps is retiring tomorrow, ending a 32-year Army career in which he led an infantry brigade in Iraq, served as a representative for North Korean nuclear negotiations and worked with Egyptian armed forces.
Maj. Gen. Lloyd Miles spent the last two years of his Army life at Lewis-McChord, where he oversaw brigades training for combat missions in Afghanistan and served as Lewis-McChord’s senior Army officer during the yearlong deployment of Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti.
In Scaparrotti’s absence, Miles managed a challenging year for the I Corps at home. Lewis-McChord saw five soldier suicides in July 2011, the month after Scaparrotti departed. Those suicides lent momentum to intense scrutiny lawmakers applied to Lewis-McChord’s behavioral health programs early this year. Several investigations into behavioral health diagnoses at Madigan Army Medical Center are still unfolding.
Miles closed out the most serious of Lewis-McChord’s “kill team” courts-martial, overseeing the trials of ringleader former Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs and participants former Spc. Adam Winfield and former Pfc. Andrew Holmes. Miles chose to drop the case against former Spc. Michael Wagnon.
Miles reportedly rejected a plea deal for former Staff Sgt. David Bram, a noncommissioned officer who did not join in the killings, but who assaulted a private under his command when the lower-ranking soldier raised concerns about drug use in their unit. Bram is serving a five-year sentence instead of the deal his family hoped he’d get to lose his rank and go to jail for less than a year.
Infantry commanders and other leaders at Lewis-McChord praised Miles as a steady and experienced hand who preferred to do his work behind the scenes. They said he paid close attention to the health of the base’s soldiers, as well as to reports of misconduct. He reportedly took a tough line on soldiers who broke laws or failed to meet standards more than once.
Lately, Miles has been paying his respects to Lewis-McChord soldiers killed in combat by attending their memorials at the base. By rank, he’s the first to salute the fallen soldiers after their families.
Miles graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1980. He has served as a liaison to the Egyptian Armed Forces in Cairo, a political-military planner on North Korea, an infantry battalion commander on a peace enforcement mission in Kosovo, a brigade commander in Iraq, the deputy commander of the Army Infantry School at Fort Benning and the director of the Iraq training and advisory mission from May 2009 to June 2010.
Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan is taking Miles’ post as the I Corps deputy commander.