Gary Fedler started at OLE Health in 2017 and serves as Chief Information Officer, overseeing IT functions, data, and cybersecurity. It’s a vital role, and it requires diligence, discipline, and commitment – all traits that are also necessary for military service. Gary is a Veteran of the United States Air Force, but when it comes to Military service, it’s also a family affair. His father and two of his brothers served in the U.S. Army, and his daughter is currently enlisted with the U.S. Navy. We spoke with Gary to learn more about his time in the Air Force and what lessons he carries with him in his current role with OLE Health.
What made you enlist and what did you do in the Air Force?
I was a military brat. My father was in the Army for 28 years, and I knew I would enlist by the time I was 15. I always wanted to go into the Air Force and couldn’t afford to go to college, so I saw it as the best opportunity for me.
My dad supported the decision. He always said the Air Force was better because they had more technical fields. See, I was always tinkering with electronics and things. He would put stickers on all electronic items in the house that read, “Gary, do not take apart.”
So, when I finished high school, I joined the Air Force as Nuclear Communication Tech. There are so many ways to give the command to launch a nuclear missile, and we took care of many of those systems. I was stationed in Cheyenne, Wyoming for most of my 4 years and 8 months of service.
Your daughter is currently in the Navy. How did it feel when your daughter decided to embark on her military service?
I was really happy about it! She did it on her own, but I wish she did it sooner. She waited until after I paid for 3 years of college! She continued pursuing her degree in Health Administration after she enlisted in 2019.
What is her job in the Navy and what are her plans for the future?
She is a Hospital Corpsman, so every day is different for her. As a Hospital Corpsman, you keep servicemen and women healthy by assisting in a wide range of departments and procedures, from dispensing vaccines and analyzing lab samples to aiding in dental operations and assisting in emergency surgeries. Some days she is a Dental Assistant or Medical Assistant, other days she is an EMS driver.
She is continuing her education, working on her master’s in human resources. She also just extended her enlistment for another 2 years, so she can go to Japan.
What lessons or skills did you take from your time with the military that you apply to your role at OLE Health?
I learned two important lessons that I use every day at OLE Health:
- Pay attention to the smallest detail. If you miss it, it could cause major issues.
- Document everything.
What is one thing OLE Health could learn from the military?
Respect the chain of command.
What is one thing you wish people knew about military service/what is the biggest misconception about military service?
I think people have the idea that it’s the same for everyone, but it isn’t. Some people in the Military love their job, and some cannot wait to get out. Also very few enlisted individuals really see combat duty.
What stands out to you about your time in the Air Force?
I built friendships that I will have for the rest of my life.