The Department of Informatics and Networked Systems is pleased to welcome Colonel Christopher J. Miller and Lieutenant Colonel Peter J. Amara, both of whom will serve as Army War College Fellows in the Department for the Academic Year 2021-2022.
Miller and Amara will be spending one year at Pitt, under the supervision of Dr. David Tipper, auditing classes on topics covering cybersecurity, policy, and law. The United States Army War College Fellows program permits 90 Fellows each year to pursue advanced educational experiences at 50 institutions of higher education across the United States and overseas. The Fellows gain skills and knowledge in these academic environments, which are very different from the traditional military academies, which will significantly contribute to the betterment of the Army. The Fellows also serve as ambassadors of the US Army, engaging with students, faculty, researchers, and the public while they pursue their studies.
Christopher J. Miller
Colonel Christopher J. Miller was commissioned as a Signal Corps Officer through the United States Military Academy at West Point in May 1999.
His previous assignments include: Large Extension Node Platoon Leader in the 29th Signal Battalion; Battalion S-6 for the 1-5 Infantry Battalion; and Battalion S-1 at the 29th Signal Battalion at Fort Lewis, Washington. In 2003, he was assigned to the 304th Signal Battalion in South Korea. From 2003 to 2006, he served as the Battalion S-4, Battalion S-1, and then as the Charlie Company Commander. From 2006-2008, Chris attended San Diego State University, earning his Master’s Degree in Computer Science with a focus on Artificial Intelligence. In 2008, he changed from Signal to the Information Systems Functional Area 53, now designated as 26B. From 2008 to 2011, Colonel Miller taught in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at West Point and earned the title of Assistant Professor. In 2011, he deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Kabul, Afghanistan, and served as the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Knowledge Management Officer. Following his deployment, Colonel Miller served as the Information Systems Officer at the National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. He then reported to the 93d Signal Brigade at Fort Eustis, where he served as the Deputy Cybersecurity Chief for two years followed by another two years as the Brigade Executive Officer. In June 2019, Colonel Miller assumed duty as the Director of the Regional Cyber Center-Europe and completed that leadership role in June 2021. He was promoted to Colonel on 1 August 2021.
Colonel Miller’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the United States Military Academy and a Master of Science in Computer Science from San Diego State University. He is a graduate of the US Army Signal Officer Basic Course, Signal Captain’s Career Course (Distinguished Honor Graduate), Combined Arms and Services Staff School (CAS3), and the US Army Command and General Staff College. Colonel Miller is currently a Senior Service College Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh School of Computing and Information (Cybersecurity).
Colonel Miller is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) for SQL Server 2012/2014. He is an active web application and SQL developer as well as an Access Database and VBA script developer. He has supported the development and accreditation requirements of the Brigade Personnel Management Tool (BPMT) for the last 11 years, a personnel and training management tool in use at multiple Army organizations.
Colonel Miller’s military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (5OLC), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (1OLC), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, and NATO Medal. He is authorized to wear the Army Superior Unit Award (1OLC) and Parachutist Badge.
Peter J. Amara
Lieutenant Colonel Peter J. Amara was commissioned as a Field Artillery officer through the Wisconsin Military Academy Officer Candidate School program in August 2000.
His assignments include Fire Direction Officer in the 1-126 Field Artillery Battalion in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In 2003, Pete was assigned to the 277 Maintenance Company, where he served as a Platoon Leader and deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Following his deployment, Pete served as the Operations Officer for the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion, Sacramento, California, in 2005-2007. In this position, he was responsible for ensuring that qualified individuals were accessed into the United States Army. From 2007-2010, Lieutenant Colonel Amara served as the Company Commander for 311 Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Los Angeles, California, where he managed the daily operations of a multi-functional, multi-component unit of over 329 Soldiers with over 50 military occupational specialties; and provided comm and control, life support, and force protection. In this position, Pete deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2010, Pete was accessed into the Army Acquisition Corps and was assigned as a Contract Management Officer at the 665th Contingency Contracting Support Detachment until 2012. Pete served as the Assistant Program Manager for Program Executive Officer-Intelligence Electronic Warfare & Sensors in El Segundo, California from 2012-2014. In this position, he also deployed to Afghanistan as the Director of Forward Operations, providing oversight for Military GPS User Equipment and other critical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance assets. From 2014-2016 Lieutenant Colonel Amara was assigned to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, & Technology) in Arlington, Virginia, where he served as the Department of the Army Systems Coordinator, responsible for oversight, requirements validation, and programming/budgeting support for Army acquisition programs. Pete served as the Chief, Contract Administration Support Office (CASO) at the Office of the Chief of Army Reserve (OCAR), Fort Belvoir, Virginia, from 2016-2018, where he was accountable for coordinating the review and staffing of service acquisitions actions. In 2018, he was assigned to Project Manager Defensive Cyber Operations as the Assistant Product Manager for Cyber Analytics and Detection, and User Activity Monitoring programs. Lieutenant Colonel Amara’s most recent assignment was serving as the Product Lead for Applied Cyber Technologies from May 2020 to June 2021.
Lieutenant Colonel Amara’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater; a Master of Arts in Procurement and Acquisition Management from Webster University; a Master of Business Administration from Amberton University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration with a focus on Organizational Leadership from Northcentral University. Lieutenant Colonel Amara is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Level III certified in Program Management, and DAWIA Level II certified in Contracting.
Lieutenant Colonel Amara’s military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, National Defense Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. His other awards include the Army Staff Identification Badge, Army Superior Unit Award, Army Service Ribbon, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.