A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Vice Adm. Matthew Kohler graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1983, and was commissioned an ensign in 1984 through the Aviation Officer Candidate School, Pensacola, Florida, as a naval intelligence officer. 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.
His operational tours include intelligence officer for Fighter Squadron 102 on USS America (CV 66); director of Intelligence (N2) for Commander Amphibious Squadron 1 on USS Peleliu (LHA 5); and N2 for Cruiser Destroyer Group 2, USS George Washington (CVN 73) Battle Group.
His shore tours include intelligence analyst and systems and communications officer for U.S. Naval Forces Europe in London; junior intelligence officer detailer and assistant community manager, Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C.; deputy director of intelligence (J2), Joint Warfare Analysis Center in Dahlgren, Virginia; director of intelligence operations, United States Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida; and director of intelligence (J2) for Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, Florida.
He has been the commander of Naval Information Forces in Suffolk, Virginia, since its establishment in October 2014. His other flag assignments include J2, U.S. Africa Command, in Stuttgart, Germany; deputy director of naval intelligence, 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, Maryland.
Kohler’s personal awards include the Edwin T. Layton Leadership Award, the Defense Superior Service Medal (four awards), Legion of Merit Medal (two awards), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards) and the Joint Service Achievement Medal.