ryan haley

Navy Veteran

Ryan Haley


Portland, OR


Summer 2016

A graduate of the Summer Class of 2016 Dog Tag Fellowship Program, Ryan Haley is originally from Portland, Oregon. He is passionate about the outdoors to include hiking, mountain climbing, and snowboarding. He climbed several mountains in middle and high school in Boy Scouts and eventually reached the rank of Eagle Scout.  Ryan also enjoys reading, traveling, playing drums, learning and connecting with new and different people. He has been encouraged by many people in his life to write, and started a blog in 2014 which he looks to continue and build upon as a possible career transition into writing. Ryan’s dad was in the US Air Force in Vietnam. He and Ryan’s mom both believed Ryan would be a good fit in the military and were positive influences on him joining the Navy.

Ryan attended the University of San Diego on a NROTC scholarship where he graduated with a BA in Psychology and was commissioned as a Naval Officer in May 2003. After college, Ryan attended flight school in Pensacola, Florida where he earned his Naval Aviator’s wings as a helicopter pilot in January 2006. After wings, Ryan went back to San Diego to learn his operational platform, the SH-60B Seahawk Anti-Submarine and Anti-Surface helicopter. Before leaving on his first operational deployment in 2010, Ryan was involved in an aviation mishap where his helicopter crashed. Luckily, all crewmembers walked away from the crash without serious injury.

After a long period of not practicing the faith he grew up with, the crash served as Ryan’s literal and figurative “come back to Jesus” moment after which he recommitted his life to God and living out his faith. After the mishap with the helicopter, Ryan stopped flying but was able to attend the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA to receive his MBA in Financial Management. His next assignment was as an Individual Augmentee with an Army infantry battalion in Andar, Afghanistan from 2010-2011 as Officer-in-Charge of an intel support unit.  Ryan’s last assignment was at the Pentagon as a Navy Manpower Action Officer (defense budget analyst) in the Expeditionary Warfare Division (N95) on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV). He separated from the Navy as a Lieutenant (O-3) in February 2014.

Before he got out of the Navy, Ryan became interested in entrepreneurship and cultivating deep relationships in a church small group he led and organized, which grew from 4 people to over 70 people within 9 months. After separation from military service, Ryan applied his entrepreneurial and relational interests to working as a Realtor in Alexandria, Virginia with a veteran owned and operated real estate brokerage called @home real estate. After 18 months of building his real estate business, he was offered an opportunity at a startup company in Vail, Colorado as a Sales & Account Manager for a mobile marketing application called TheDropp. While in Colorado, Ryan also became involved with a healing prayer ministry called Operation Restored Warrior that helps military veterans deal with life trauma. Despite numerous successes, the company had to discontinue operations in May 2016 due to lack of funding. In June 2016 Ryan heard through a friend about Dog Tag, Inc. and was very quickly and unexpectedly accepted to the June 28 class.

Ever since his tour in Afghanistan, Ryan has been on a quest of identifying, uncovering and pursuing his passions, gifts, talents and higher purpose in life. At present he feels called to writing, which he hopes will also open the door to speaking, coaching, teaching, counseling and encouraging people to find their own passions, talents, gifts and purpose. Having dealt with anxiety, depression, and alcohol & drug abuse, a central part of Ryan’s life message will be helping people find peace, joy and hope by abandoning the limitations and anxieties of self-effort and instead, resting in God’s incredible grace to find their higher purpose in life, further helping others to do the same. 

Since graduating from the Dog Tag Fellowship Program, Ryan has enrolled in a ministry program based in Colorado.

Join Our Cause

Find out how you can donate, volunteer, and champion our mission beyond the walls of the bakery.

Get Involved