Craig Koehler’s father, Steven, pins the Infantry Shoulder Cord on his son in a photo Craig says is one of his favorites. Also, Craig is pictured with his wife, Jess, at an overlook near his hometown in Florence, Wisconsin.

November 17, 2023

Army National Guard Service Laid Foundation for Construction Career

Learn how Project Controls Manager Craig Koehler weaves principles he learned as an infantryman into his daily life and his Haskell career.

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The Army National Guard gave Craig Koehler money for college. More importantly, it impressed on him the importance of integrity and expecting the unexpected.

“I was the oldest of eight siblings, so joining the military aided me in going through college,” said Koehler, a Haskell Project Controls Manager. “While I was in my first year of service, I got that sense of pride and understanding of what serving your country means. It strengthened the core values my parents taught me growing up and overall was a good fit for me.”

After boot camp at Fort Benning (now Fort Moore) in Columbus, Georgia, Koehler served as an infantry soldier in the National Guard in Wisconsin.

“One of my favorite pictures is my dad pinning my blue cord on my uniform,” he said. “The blue cord signifies I was an infantry soldier, which is one of the oldest jobs there is in the Army. I remember telling my dad that he gave me the strength to serve. It was a very proud moment.”

He found his way to Jacksonville, Florida, at the invitation of a buddy who had an extra room at his place at the beach. Koehler worked as an Aviation Operations Specialist at Cecil Field. His unit tracked flight records and assisted with hurricane and wildfire relief missions before a year-long deployment in Iraq.

“We served the Iraqi Freedom War in 2003 and were one of the only National Guard Battalions in the country at the time,” he said. “We supplied security, training, rebuilt a community soccer stadium and trained the Iraqi police guard. It was nice to see the development while I was there, but it was tough getting through it. It really made me appreciate everything I have as an American citizen.”

“I have very memorable moments from the time I served as an infantry soldier,” he said. “Not only was it unexpected to serve in this role after working in aviation, but I was promoted to Sergeant on my birthday while in country.”

After nine years, he left the Guard to finish his Construction Management degree from the University of North Florida. He worked with other construction companies for eight years before getting a call from Haskell.

“I’ve always looked up to Haskell,” he said. “During my time at UNF, I was a part of a couple of ‘Lunch and Learns’ at the HQ office and liked the unique parts of the building. The layout, the energy – I always thought it would be a really cool place to work. I got a call from an old co-worker with a job opening at Haskell, and now I work in Project Controls with a focus on pre-construction.”

Haskell’s core values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust perfectly match the values Koehler took from military service.

“Integrity reinforces accountability,” he said. “You have to be your own keeper but also look out for the person next to you. You don’t want anyone left behind. I approach life with that mentality no matter the situation.”

Honoring Our Veterans
Haskell proudly employs veterans of the United States Armed Forces and currently employs more than 100 team members who previously served our country. To commemorate Veterans Day, Haskell.com is spotlighting one of them daily this week. Additionally, Haskell annually presents each veteran on our team with a special thank-you gift.

As Haskell grows across the United States, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region to meet the needs of new and existing clients, veterans continue to play an ever-increasing role. Those who have served our nation understand mission, structure, results and accountability. They are a perfect fit with Haskell’s core values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust.

Are you interested in transitioning from the military to a career with a vibrant, growing company that provides nearly unlimited opportunities? Contact us to learn more.

Haskell delivers $2± billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,200 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

Promoting and expanding diversity and inclusion is a strategic pillar of Haskell’s long-term vision and is foundational to creating a team member experience of significance, success and satisfaction. Haskell Together is our intentional and consistent initiative to promote open dialogue and bring about positive change.

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