Lieutenant Colonel Casey Nelson is from Pensacola, Florida. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in systems engineering from the United States Naval Academy in May of 2006, earning his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. After completion of The Basic School and naval flight training, he reported to HMMT-164, Camp Pendleton, CA for CH-46E fleet replacement squadron training.
1stLt Nelson completed CH-46E training in 2009 and reported to the HMM-163 “Evil Eyes” at MCAS Miramar where he was promoted to Captain and served in various assignments. He deployed on a WESTPAC Marine Expeditionary Unit with the 13th MEU in 2011. Post-deployment he stayed with HMM-163 as they transitioned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron, VMM-163. After completing the tiltrotor transition unit training at MCAS Miramar he completed the tiltrotor syllabus with VMMT-204 in New River in 2012. Upon completion of tiltrotor qualification and return to VMM-163, Captain Nelson earned designations as an MV-22B aircraft commander and section leader.
In June of 2013, Capt Nelson accepted orders to Okinawa with VMM-262 “Flying Tigers” to again transition a squadron from HMM to VMM. While assigned to VMM-262 Capt Nelson participated in Operation DAMAYAN foreign humanitarian assistance to the Republic of Philippines for typhoon relief. Major Nelson then graduated from the MAWTS-1 Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Course 2-14. In Fall of 2014 Capt Nelson served as an augment instructor for WTI 1-15. In May of 2015 Capt Nelson again participated in a JTF-505 Foreign Humanitarian Assistance, this time in Nepal following an earthquake for Operation SAHAYOGI HAAT. While at VMM-262 he embarked as part of the 31st MEU Spring patrol in 2015. Capt Nelson served as the Flightline Officer in Charge, Pilot Training Officer, Future Operations Officer, and Assistant Operations Officer.
In July of 2016, Capt Nelson reported to MAWTS-1 in Yuma, Arizona for duties as an MV-22 instructor pilot. In August of 2016 he was promoted to Major. While at MAWTS-1, Major Nelson served as the MV-22 Operations Representative, MV-22 representative to the Aviation Development Tactics and Evaluation Department, as well as the ground threat reaction and survivability equipment subject matter expert. In his final year he served as the MV-22 Division Head.
In July of 2019, Major Nelson reported to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 “Knightriders” for department head assignment as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer. In 2020 to 2021 Major Nelson deployed with VMM-164 (REIN) as the Aviation Combat Element for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit WESTPAC 21-1. During this deployment he served as the Operation OCTAVE QUARTZ MV-22B night crew officer in charge and USS Lewis B Puller detachment officer in charge. Additional billets held include director of safety and standardization and squadron executive officer.
In June 2022 Major Nelson was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and reported to Marine Aircraft Group 39 headquarters to serve as the MAG-39 executive officer until April 2023. Lieutenant Colonel Nelson is currently the prospective commanding officer of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164.
Lieutenant Colonel Nelson has held qualifications in the CH-46E and MV-22B. His decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (gold star in lieu of second award), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, various unit and campaign awards, as well as the Order of Daedalians United States Marine Corps Exceptional Aviator Award and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing aviator of the year award in 2015.
Major Nelson is married to the former Margaret (Greta) Gavrisheff of Butte, MT; they have three children, George, Yuuki, and Nina.