Captain John Miller
The character Captain John Miller in the movie “Saving Private Ryan” played by Tom Hanks represents the ideal soldier in a time of great despair. He shows courage and bravery throughout every scene. His troops will not disagree with him because of the respect he has for his authority; thus they have the utmost respect for him. Captain Miller shows many attributes of being the right person for the job in the search for Private Ryan. This mission has his men in complete turmoil and he handles everything so calmly and respectively. Not any regular person could have accomplished what he did. Captain Miller’s leadership qualities bind his characteristics together and make him strong in every way that a war hero should be. Captain John Miller is not just a great soldier but this character is also a great man.
Carrying out a mission like the one in “Saving Private Ryan” requires a leader of the highest mental capacity. Not only does this mission require a leader with a strong will but one that is going to do everything in his power to complete the mission. Captain John Miller proves himself to be courageous and brave in the opening scene of the movie. While on Omaha Beach, Miller is shown going in and out of shock, yet he never folds and quits. This part of the movie lets the viewer know that Miller is a brave and smart soldier.
Captain Miller receives direct orders from the top of the Army to carry out a search for Private Ryan because he has lost three brothers in the war already. Miller, being the ideal soldier, takes these orders with a positive attitude and intends to carry them out. Miller does everything like he is supposed to while on this unlikely mission. His troops, knowing the awkward mission they have ahead of them are not thrilled about the orders but respect them because their leader is doing what he has to do. Having a captain such as Miller, who possesses great leadership qualities, the troops feel more comfortable about going into the mission.
The mission that Captain Miller led was a success because of his leadership abilities. Miller, from the onset of the movie showed that he was a leader and could be counted on. While on Omaha Beach he never faltered while making his way up the shore to overtake the Germans. Leadership requires respect from troops and also for the leader to be brave and courageous. If Miller had ever let his guard down, his troop would have fell right along with him. Being a leader also consists of ideas. Miller always had an answer for every problem the troop faced. He decided how to overthrow the Germans at Omaha Beach. He also had the idea of creating the “sticky bombs” to destroy the German tanks. Ideas and decisions like these attribute Miller’s unique character to being one that is very respected.
Not only is a leader a field captain but he also is a leader in respect to a personal viewpoint towards his men. Miller never treats his soldiers any differently. He shows absolutely no favoritism towards any of his troops which made them a stronger troop as a whole while at the same time earning him more respect as the mission prevailed. The entire troop knew each other very well, but they did not know much about Miller and his personal life. The ongoing joke throughout the movie about finding out where Miller was from and what his occupation consisted of was another part of Miller that added to his long list of great characteristics. Miller knew that if he kept this from his troops they would continue to pursue it together. This formed unity among his men. Miller kept this secret until it was absolutely necessary to let it out. Ironically he told the only soldier in his troop that was an outcast. This has a lot to say about Miller and his ability to bring his entire troop together and make them one. Until this moment in the movie the secretary soldier was not a part of the troop, but when Miller told about his personal life they all became one and could now continue on with the mission. Miller showed great leadership in this scene by facing the problem of his troop almost falling apart due to this unlikely mission and totally fixing the problem by simply telling them about his personal life. Captain Miller’s ability to keep his troops together throughout all these problems and not center out anyone shows that not only is he a great leader and soldier but he is a great man also.
Captain Miller’s leadership qualities helped keep his men together throughout the mission, but his troop also respected him because they knew what kind of person he was on the inside. John Miller was a great man. From the moment Miller receives his orders he knows he is going to complete the mission. He knows that if he completes this mission he will be able to go home. He also feels sorry for Private Ryan and really wants to help this young man. Miller shows signs of being a fair person throughout the movie. Miller would not allow his soldiers to kill the German soldier they captured while on their mission. He let the soldier go because that was not what their mission was about and he did not see why anymore people would have to die on the way to completing this mission. During the scenes when his own soldiers died he never lost it himself but stayed strong for the ones dying and gave them the morphine that they asked for. Even though these losses hurt his troop as a whole and some of them felt as if Private Ryan was not as important as loosing men within the troop, Miller found a way to continue on and keep his men together. In the final scene of the movie, Miller’s true personality showed more than it had the entire movie. Miller took it upon himself to make sure that Private Ryan would not get hurt even though he might die in the cause. This side of Miller showed every aspect of him and allowed the audience to know that he was a respectable man. Qualities that deal with the personal side of soldiers are very important when it comes to war. Captain John Miller expressed these qualities very well and that is what made him such a great leader in the hard times that him and his men faced throughout their mission.
It is soldiers and men like Captain John Miller that got America where it is today. Without men fighting for a common cause and dying for a common cause Americans could never be free like they are today. Miller had the right characteristics to complete the mission even if he did not get his final goal. He proved that he was an ideal soldier and could follow commands just as his troop was to follow commands. He showed great examples of leadership throughout the movie with his ability to make his men stay together as a one troop and not split their ways. Miller not only showed examples of leadership but also sewed all of his characteristics together by being a great man by knowing the morals of life expressing them to his men. Captain Miller took it upon himself to find and save Private Ryan even if his entire troop was not as adamant about it as he was. The characteristics that Captain John Miller possesses constitute what a war hero must have to be successful in any mission that needs to be carried out.