Brian Ohler ’20, ’22 MHA has demonstrated his commitment to service through his distinguished military career and his dedication to giving back to the community. He was recently recognized for his dedication as one of the most recent inductees into the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame.
December 17, 2021
Brian Ohler ’20, ’22 MHA began military service in July 2001, and spent the next 12 years in the service of the US Army Military Police. His passion for serving his country intensified in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks two months later.
Inspired by the many members of his family and extended family who also served in the military and volunteered as first responders, Ohler volunteered to complete his three combat missions overseas. He served in Baghdad, Iraq, from 2003-2004 and 2006-2007, as well as in Afghanistan in 2011. He also served in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Wounded in combat during each of his combat missions, Ohler focused his passion on service to others after his active enlistment ended. Volunteer firefighter, chaplain and emergency medical technician in his hometown of North Canaan, Connecticut, for the past 20 years he has also served on a myriad of nonprofit governance boards, and he has represented the 64th District of the house in the Connecticut General Assembly from 2017 to 2019.
Recipient of numerous distinguished honors, including three Purple Heart Medals, three Army Medals of Honor, the NATO Medal and one Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Honor, he was recently selected to be inducted into the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame.
“I was surprised and really at a loss for words when the Office of the Veterans Commissioner called me and told me I would be inducted,” said Ohler, who was officially inducted earlier this month . “There was a mixture of emotions. All the things they praised me for are things that I am so passionate about – the military, my public service and my public service.
“I never thought he would receive such praise,” he continued. “I am touched and grateful for the recognition. Being in the company of other class members, reading all the selfless things they’ve done, it’s amazing. I am so honored and grateful.
“A wonderful path for candidates like me”
A member and former commander of VFW 6851 in North Canaan, Ohler is also a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and American Disabled Veterans. He was recently appointed to sit on the State Qualifying Requirements Review Board, helping to review the cases of veterans who have been on non-honorable leave and, whether their cases are subject to a appeal, to ensure that they receive intensive care and medical benefits. The board of directors started when he was representative of the state.
“When I returned from the army in 2013, I immediately enlisted in local service,” he explains. “For a lot of people who have served in the military, coming home is difficult. Difficult to find a place in society. I have always relied heavily on my passion to help others, and there have always been missions I can lend a hand.
Ohler, who also earned a bachelor’s degree in homeland security and emergency management from the University, has served on the front lines of the pandemic. Associate Director of Safety and Engineering at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, Connecticut, he plans to continue his education and service.
“I will soon take on greater responsibilities with the North West region of Hartford HealthCare, focusing on support operations,” said Ohler, who also hopes to pursue his MBA. “The University’s MHA program has so far been a wonderful avenue for applicants like myself looking to broaden their knowledge base and skills in leadership dynamics and operational excellence in healthcare. health.”