Like a lot of young people at the time, Jordan Fogler decided to attend one of the country’s military service academies after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
He was a sophomore in high school when terrorists flew jet liners into the twin towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. “For me,” he says, “that was like a catalyst.”
That eventually led Fogler to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, the same place his father, Bill, graduated. "I worked hard in high school and ended up getting in,” he says. “And the rest is history.”
Fogler entered the academy in 2004 — his older brother was a senior there at the time. He graduated in 2008.
The history he talks about includes four deployments to the Middle East as a Naval flight officer in the back end of a reconnaissance aircraft and one in South America. He served in the Navy for about eight years after graduation. He then left the service in 2016 because it was taking too much time away from his growing family.
Today Fogler is in commercial real estate, as an executive vice president at JLL in Tampa. He has been involved in more than 135 transactions since 2022, closing deals totaling more than 2.08 million square feet with a combined value of $257 million.
But the lessons he learned at the Naval Academy — to work as part of team, to not fear failure, to juggle multiple assignments — are never far away.
Neither are the lessons instilled in him by his father the Naval officer which, he says, are the guiding principles of his life.
Bill Fogler was a Navy pilot who flew C-130s, restocking scientific bases in Antarctica where he had to land the massive aircraft on skis. By the time Jordan was born, his father was out of the Navy and a commercial airline pilot.
But he was a Navy officer at his core, teaching his son the singular importance of integrity and how it should influence everything you do.
“No matter what, it doesn't matter the circumstance, it doesn't matter how big or how small it is, always do the right thing. Even when it's hard,” Fogler says his father taught him. “Because at the end of the day, when people can’t trust you, when you lose that trust, it's nearly impossible to get it back.”
This story has been updated to reflect the correct value of completed sales.