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Warriors to Hometown Heroes

Brian Haugen

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Retired Lieutenant Colonel, Special Forces

U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Army Rangers and Special Forces (Green Berets)

U.S. Army National Guard (May 1986 – September 2009)


Brian grew up the son of an Air Force general, so he understands the sacrifices and constant changes that come with a career in the military. After receiving a degree in Engineering from Marion Military Institute followed by a degree in Business Management from the University of West Florida, Brian chose to follow the path of his father, serving in the U.S. Army as part of the 82nd Airborne Division.


Brian is the ultimate example of a hero at home and abroad. After serving his country in Operation Desert Storm, Brian retired but remained active in the National Guard. When the call to duty came after 9/11, Brian put his blooming civilian financial service career on hold and joined his Special Forces comrades in Afghanistan.


Brian has served on the board and as chairman of the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of Directors for the University of West Florida Foundation, and on the Board of Directors for the Marion Military Institute Alumni Brigade.


He has given back to the community he has called home since the ‘80s by serving as the Chairman of the Board for the American Red Cross of Northwest Florida, as well as the Board of Directors for the Arts Council of Northwest Florida, the Board of Directors for the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, and the Florida Bar’s Grievance Committee (District One).

Brian also regularly acts as emcee at community events and fundraisers for several charitable organizations.


He and wife Kathy created the Taylor Haugen Foundation ( in memory of their son Taylor. The YESS Program (Youth Equipment for Sport Safety) has since partnered with EvoShield and has outfitted thousands of student athletes with body gear to protect them from life-threatening injuries.


This is the first of a series of articles honoring our military residents—active duty and retired—who bring the same dedication they’ve shown in uniform to their communities. Submissions for this feature are welcome—send your candidate’s name and contact info to

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