24 July 1978 – 26 January 2008
Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment
SFC Kahler was killed by small arms fire on Jan. 26, 2008 at Forward Operating Base Fenty in Waygul, Afghanistan.
SFC Kahler left behind a wife and daughter as well as legions of family members, fellow Soldiers and friends who miss him as much today as they did four years ago. His death left a huge hole in many hearts.
There is a slide show here with photos of SFC Kahler with his family and on deployment. There is another photo gallery here of the day SFC Kahler was brought home to Granite Falls, MN, his final resting place.
Sergeant First Class Matthew R. Kahler was born on 24 July 1978 in Carroll, Iowa. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 5 June 1997.
After SFC Kahler completed Basic Infantry Training, Advanced Individual Training, and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to A Company 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina on 17 November 1997. While assigned to the 504th PIR, he held the positions of Assistant Machine Gunner, Machine Gunner, and Fire Team Leader. He deployed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1997 in support of OPERATION DESERT FOCUS and OPERATION DESERT THUNDER.
SFC Kahler was assigned to 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in June 2001. While assigned to the 503rd, he held the positions of Fire Team Leader, Rifle Squad Leader, and Platoon Sergeant. He helped form and train Able Company during countless training deployments to Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels. SFC Kahler deployed and served in the Brigade as a Rifle Squad Leader during both OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM I and OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VI. SFC Kahler deployed with The ROCK to Afghanistan in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VIII as the Platoon Sergeant for 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne) 503rd Infantry Regiment.
SFC Kahler’s awards include: Bronze Star (2, Posthumous), Purple Heart (2, Posthumous), Army Commendation Medal (2), Army Achievement Medal (4), Army Good Conduct Medal (3rd Award), National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral three, Army Service Ribbon, Over Seas Ribbon with numeral four, NATO Medal, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, and Senior Parachutists Badge with Combat Bronze Star Device. SFC Kahler was also recently inducted into the U.S. Army, Europe Sergeant Morales Club as a lifetime member.