Rear Adm. Steve Koehler is a native of San Diego and a 1986 graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. He was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) and designated a naval aviator in March 1989. He holds a Master’s in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College and is a graduate of the Joint Staff College and the Navy Nuclear Power Program.
He commanded the Pukin’ Dogs of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143, aboard USS Bataan (LHD 5), USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), and Carrier Strike Group Nine. His additional assignments at sea include tours in Fighter Squadron (VF) 211, VF-41, executive officer aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). During his operational tours he supported Operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel in support of contingency operations in the Middle East, Operation Deliberate Guard in support of stabilization efforts in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Operation Unified Response which provided emergency disaster relief to Haiti and Operation Unified Protector in support of contingency operations Libya.
Koehler served ashore as an instructor pilot with VF-101, Grim Reapers; placement officer at the Bureau of Naval Personnel; returned as executive officer of VF-101; military assistant/naval aide to the assistant secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs); chief of staff to Commander, Joint Task Force Horn of Africa in Djibouti; and the director of fleet/joint training at U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
Koehler assumed duties as director for operations, U. S. Indo-Pacific Command in June 2018.
Koehler has logged over 3,900 hours in the F-14 Tomcat and the F-18 E/F Super Hornet. His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.