Captain Christopher Nelson, Commanding Officer Purdue University NROTC Unit

Captain Chris Nelson, a native of Corvallis, Oregon, graduated in 1994 from the University of Colorado, where he earned a commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy.

Captain Nelson served his initial sea tours in USS MERRILL (DD-976) and USS BOXER (LHD-4), and his Department Head tours in USS CARTER HALL (LSD-50) as Chief Engineer, and as Material and Readiness Officer for Amphibious Squadron FOUR.  CAPT Nelson served his XO tours in USS RUSHMORE (LSD 47), and at Beachmaster Unit ONE in Coronado, CA.

In June of 2012, CAPT Nelson assumed command of Beachmaster Unit ONE, serving two years in Command.  Following the BMU-1 CO tour, CAPT Nelson reported as Commander, Task Group 56.11 in Bahrain, where he commanded all Riverine Forces permanently stationed in the 5th Fleet operating area – providing maritime security to military sealift and prepositioning ships assigned to Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT). 

CAPT Nelson's shore tours include service as an Associate Professor of Naval Science at the University of Colorado as well as Maritime Operations Officer and Amphibious Planner for Marine Corps Forces Europe in Stuttgart, Germany. Following his tour in Bahrain, CAPT Nelson completed a Joint Tour at NORAD and US Northern Command as Chief of Current Operations.

Following his Joint tour, CAPT Nelson commanded the Swift Intruders of Assault Craft Unit FIVE in Camp Pendleton, California for three years, during which time the command was recognized with back-to-back CNO Safety Awards and the Secretary of Defense Maintenance Award.

After completing his major command tour, Captain Nelson assumed command of the Naval ROTC Unit at Purdue University, where he is currently serving.

CAPT Nelson's personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, multiple Meritorious Service Medals and Naval Commendations, along with various other unit and individual awards.