Commander Justin Issler
A native of Prospect, Ohio, Commander Issler graduated from Miami University in 2000, earning a Bachelor of Science in Finance. He was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program and reported to NAS Pensacola, FL for flight training in May 2001. CDR Issler was designated as a Naval Aviator in July 2002 and reported to NAS North Island with the HC-3 “Merlin’s” for initial fleet training as a MH-60S Pilot.
Commander Issler began his operational flying tour in February 2003 with the “Providers” of HC-5, later renamed HSC-25 “Island Knights” in Guam. While a “Provider”, he made multiple deployments aboard USS ESSEX (LHD 2), USNS KISKA (T-AE 35) and USNS FLINT (T-AE 32) participating in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Commander Issler reported to the “Fleet Angels” of HSC-2 as a flight instructor in February 2006 helping to stand up the first east coast MH-60S Fleet Replacement Squadron. While a “Fleet Angel” CDR Issler graduated from the Naval Post Graduate School’s Executive MBA program with honors.
Following his flight instructor tour, CDR Issler reported to USS DWIGHT D EISENHOWER (CVN 69) as Assistant Navigator (ANAV) in January 2009. While serving as IKE’s ANAV he completed two deployments in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. During his tour, CDR Issler was selected as the 2010 Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award winner, 2010 IKE 5 Star Leadership Award winner and 2010 Naval Helicopter Association Shipboard Aviation Officer of the Year.
CDR Issler returned to the fleet as a Department Head in HSC-7, the “Dusty Dogs” in September 2011. While with the Dusty Dogs, he deployed aboard USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, serving as the Administrative Officer, Operations Officer, Maintenance Officer and Executive Officer.
Following his department head tour, CDR Issler served as a Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While on the Joint Staff, he directly supported the Chairman as a Protocol Action Officer executing his Chiefs of Defense Counterpart Visit Program. He selected for squadron command in March 2015 and reported to HSC-8 as Executive Officer in May 2017.
CDR Issler has accumulated over 2,500 flight hours in the MH-60S. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various service awards and ribbons.