Command Master Chief Cajan L. Nelms hails from Lynnwood, Washington where she graduated from Lynnwood High School in 1990. She joined the Navy in September 1991 and attended Basic training at Recruit Training Command, Orlando, Florida.
Upon completion of recruit training, Master Chief Nelms attended Construction Electrician Apprentice School in Gulfport, Mississippi and was then assigned to Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Brawdy, Wales, where she was promoted to Petty Officer Third Class.
Following her tour in the UK, she was detailed to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Seven (NMCB-7) in Gulfport Mississippi, and advanced to Second Class Petty Officer.
After a successful battalion tour, she transferred to Navy Recruiting District Montgomery, Alabama. While on recruiting duty she was meritoriously advanced to Petty Officer First Class. She then transferred to Public Works Department, Sigonella, Sicily where she was selected as the CINCUSNAVEUR Leadership Award Winner, as well as the base and region Sailor of the Year, and subsequently selected to Chief Petty Officer.
In 2003 she was assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FORTY (NMCB 40) as the Bravo Company Chief and Battalion Safety Officer. In 2004, she was promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer. In 2006 she transferred to Naval Facilities Engineering and Logistics Command (NFELC) as a curriculum development specialist and safety officer.
In 2009, she transferred to Fleet Activities Yokosuka and assigned as the first enlisted Assistant Public Works Officer, and selected as the Region Senior Enlisted Leader for all Seabees in the Far East.
She transferred to US Fleet Forces Command in 2011 as the Civil Engineering Department Leading Chief Petty Officer and facilitated the U. S. Fleet Forces Command’s “Fleet Chief Petty Officer Training Course”. In February 2014, she became the first Seabee selected into the Command Senior Chief Program, and was detailed to Cooperative Security Location (CSL) Comalapa, El Salvador. In 2015, she returned to US Fleet Forces Command and advanced to Master Chief, where she was then detailed to USS BAINBRIDGE (DDG96) as the Command Master Chief, the first Command Master Chief with a Seabee source rating to do this. While attached to USS BAINBRIDGE she was selected as the 2018 Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Award winner.
Master Chief Nelms is currently serving as the Command Master Chief, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Bahrain.
Her academic achievements include an Associate’s Degree in Construction Technology, she is a graduate of the Air Force Senior Non Commissioned Officer Academy and the Command Master Chief/Chief of the Boat Course (Class 130).
Personal awards include the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal (six awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five awards), as well as various unit and personal citations.