Captain Stephen T. Koehler
Captain Koehler is a native of San Diego, CA. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Physics in 1986 and was commissioned through NROTC. He was designated a Naval Aviator in March in 1989.
Koehler received flight training in the F-14 Tomcat at NAS Miramar with Gun Fighters of Fighter Squadron (VF) 124. In December 1990, he reported to the Fighting Checkmates of Fighter Squadron (VF) 211, and deployed twice aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in support of Operations DESERT STORM and SOUTHERN WATCH.
In February 1994, he reported to the Grim Reapers of Fighter Squadron (VF) 101 at NAS Oceana as a Flight Instructor where he served as the Operations Administrative Officer, Quality Assurance Officer and the F-14 Demonstration Pilot. In January 1997, Koehler then reported to the Black Aces of Fighter Squadron (VF) 41 serving as the Assistant Operations Officer, Administrative Officer and Maintenance Officer. With the Black Aces, he deployed aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) in support of Operations DELIBERATE GUARD and SOUTHERN WATCH.
Following graduation from the Naval War College in Newport, RI, with a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, and after attending the Armed Forces Staff College, he reported to the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Millington, TN, in September 1999, as the Tomcat, Super Hornet, and CAG Placement Officer. In November 2001, he rejoined VF-101 as the Executive Officer and held that position until reporting to the Pukin’ Dogs of Fighter Squadron (VF) 143 in February 2003, as Executive Officer. He commanded VF-143 from July 2004 to October 2005, deploying aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and ultimately transitioning VFA-143 to the FA-18E Super Hornet. Koehler reported as the Military Assistant/Naval Aide to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (M&RA) in November of 2005 before being selected to undergo nuclear power training.
Koehler served as Executive Officer of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) from November 2007 to October 2009 getting the ship underway from Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH). He then commanded USS Bataan (LHD 5) from February 2010 to August 2011, taking part in Operation UNIFIED RESPONSE, providing emergency disaster relief to Haiti, and Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR supporting Libya contingency operations. He spent 2012 on an Individual Augmentee assignment as the Chief of Staff to Commander, Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa in Djibouti. Koehler is currently serving as Commanding Officer onboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) as of 19 July 2013.
Koehler has logged more than 500 arrested landings and 3,600 hours in various Naval Aircraft. His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medals, Strike/Flight Air Medals, Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medals and numerous unit, service, and campaign awards.