|CDR Benjamin R. Nicholson
Executive Officer (September 2011 - April 2012)
Commander Benjamin Nicholson is originally from New Orleans, LA. He graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York in 1993 earning his Third Assistant Marine Engineer’s License as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering (Electronic and Information Warfare) earned in 1999 from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Additionally, in 2010 he received a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
Commander Nicholson’s first sea tour from 1993 to 1997 included commissioning USS MITSCHER (DDG 57) where he served as Communications Officer, Auxiliaries Officer, Main Propulsion Assistant and Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer. His Department Head sea assignments were as Chief Engineer in USS McFAUL (DDG 74) from 2000 to 2002 and Chief Engineer in USS O’BANNON (DD 987) from 2002 to 2003. Commander Nicholson’s last sea assignment from 2006 to 2008 was as Commanding Officer of MCM CREW SWERVE, a mine countermeasures ship rotational crew. During his time there MCM CREW SWERVE rotated to USS DEFENDER (MCM 2), USS GLADIATOR (MCM 11) and USS SENTRY (MCM 3) with Commander Nicholson serving as the Captain of the ships.
Ashore, from 2004 to 2006 Commander Nicholson was assigned to the Chief of Naval Operations staff as the Head of the Professional Development Section in the Military Personnel Plans and Policy Division (OPNAV N13). In 2008 and 2009 he served as the Commander of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Farah, Afghanistan. The PRT was tasked with assisting the local Afghan government with reconstruction, development, governance and security. Immediately following the PRT tour he was assigned as a Civil-Military Operations Planner in the headquarters of the Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Afghanistan) at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province in 2009.
His decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal (three awards), Combat Action Ribbon and various campaign and unit awards.