NAVIF’s Kohler receives promotion

Published 10:13 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2017

By George Bieber

Special to the News-Herald

Rear Adm. Matthew J. Kohler, commander of Naval Information Forces in Suffolk, was promoted to the rank of vice admiral July 6.

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Kohler is a 1983 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He received his commission to ensign in 1984 through the Aviation Officer Candidate School, Pensacola, Fla., as a naval intelligence officer.

Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces, presided at the event.

“Matt is the epitome of what Navy and information warfare leadership expects and needs to fight and win today and into the future,” Davidson said. “Matt has excelled in a wide variety of highly demanding information warfare assignments and is more than ready to take his skills to the next level as a senior flag officer.”

After Kohler’s wife pinned the three-star rank insignia on his collars, Davidson administered the oath of office to one of the Navy’s newest vice admirals.

“These stars belong to each and every sailor and Navy civilian throughout Naval Information Forces,” said Kohler. “This promotion represents your hard work and dedication, and I am truly thankful to work with such a professional team.”

Additionally, Kohler attributed much of his success to his wife, Melanie, who has supported his career for more than three decades while raising their two children.

Kohler’s selection to vice admiral is the culmination of more than 33 years of leadership experience at sea and ashore. His operational tours include intelligence officer for Fighter Squadron 102 (F-14) on USS America; director of intelligence for Commander Amphibious Squadron 1 on USS Peleliu; and N2 for Cruiser Destroyer Group 2, USS George Washington Battle Group.

Ashore, he served as an intelligence analyst and systems and communications officer for U.S. Naval Force Europe in London; junior intelligence officer detailer and assistant community manager, Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C.; deputy director of intelligence, Joint Warfare Analysis Center in Dahlgren; director of intelligence operations United States Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla.; and director of intelligence for Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, Fla.

Kohler has led Naval Information Forces Command since its establishment in October 2014.

His other flag assignments include J2, U.S. Africa Command, in Stuttgart, Germany; deputy director of naval intelligence, OPNAV N2/N6I in Washington D.C.; deputy commander Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet; and deputy chief of tailored access operations, National Security Agency, in Fort Meade, Md.

Kohler holds a master’s degree from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in computer science and from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in military history.