Captain Erik R. Nilsson
CAPT Erik Nilsson is a native of Miami, Florida and is a 1993 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute; he earned his commission through the NROTC program at VMI. He received his Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, RI in March of 2005.
CAPT Nilsson's sea tours include Electrical Officer and later Assistant First Lieutenant in USS RUSHMORE (LSD 47) homeported in San Diego, CA, and Navigator of USS CURTS (FFG 38) forward deployed to the Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan. Following attendance at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA he was assigned to the Italian Third Naval Division in Brindisi, Italy; his duties while attached to the Italian Navy included Amphibious Operations Planning Officer, Battaglione San Marco Liaison Officer, and Staff Operations Officer. CAPT Nilsson reported to USS ROBERT G. BRADLEY (FFG 49) in Mayport, FL as the Operations Officer, and following that he reported as the Operations Officer of Destroyer Squadron TWO SIX then embarked in USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73). CAPT Nilsson served as Executive Officer of USS WINSTON S. CHURCHILL (DDG 81) in Norfolk, VA and Beachmaster Unit ONE (BMU 1) in San Diego, CA. He assumed command of BMU 1 and then commissioned and assumed command of Naval Beach Unit SEVEN (NBU 7) in Sasebo, Japan. CAPT Nilsson reported to Commander, Carrier Strike Group TWO embarked in USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH (CVN 77) as the Surface Operations Officer, then as the Operations Officer, a Special Assistant to the Commander, and lastly served as the Chief of Staff. Through these tours CAPT Nilsson made multiple Western Pacific, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Eastern Pacific and Southwest Atlantic deployments in support of national tasking.
CAPT Nilsson's shore tour was at U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, VA where he served in the Directorate for Human Capital Resource Management (J02HR) as the Manpower Branch Head.
He and his wife Alison reside in Hampton Roads, and they have two sons, Jacob and Chase.
His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (with one gold star), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (with three gold stars) and the Navy Achievement Medal (with two gold stars), along with various meritorious unit and campaign ribbons.