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Kathy Wirtanen
Administrative, Facility
& Conference Assistant

P:  (540) 464-7361
F: (540) 464-7396

Center for Leadership & Ethics
VMI, Marshall Hall
500 Anderson Drive
Lexington, VA  24450

Speaker Bio - John T. Nelson II

John Nelsen joined Booz Allen Hamilton in June 2001 after completing 30 years of service in the US Army.  Since joining the Firm, he has focused on consulting duties relating to a variety of operational matters and capabilities, including decision support, performance enhancement, operations center assessment and design, transformation roadmap development and implementation, project management, homeland security, emergency response, incident management, project management support, and operational planning.  In addition, he assisted in conducting a broad-based assessment of future policy options for the Reserve Forces Policy Board affecting the Reserve Components from all the Services; and led efforts for the Army National Guard Directorate to conduct an after action review of its efforts in the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review. 

Mr. Nelsen earned a B.S. degree in Mathematics from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 1971, an M.A. degree in European History from University of Wisconsin (1978), and an M.M.A.S. degree from the School for Advanced Military Studies (1987), US Army Command & General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.  Upon graduating academically second in his class from VMI, he received the Hughes-Army Trophy as the top Army R.O.T.C. graduate in the nation for 1971.  At VMI served as the Corps Regimental S-3. 

His subsequent military career included a wide variety of assignments, including positions at every level from platoon through corps.  He commanded both a mechanized infantry battalion in Germany and an armor-heavy separate brigade (1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division).  He served as well on the faculties of the US Military Academy (Assistant Professor of Military and European History), the Army War College (Associate Professor of Strategy), and the National War College (Professor of Strategy and Operations).  He also was Chief, G-3 War Plans, III Corps, and a Senior Task Force Observer-Controller (OC) at the Combat Maneuver Training Center, Hohenfels, Germany.  During the course of his career, Mr. Nelsen became a fully qualified and experienced Army Foreign Area Officer for Western Europe, and served as Assistant Chief of Staff (Allied Relations), G-5, for a separate brigade in Northern Germany.  While serving as a Strategic Fellow for the Chief of Staff of the Army (1992-94), he participated in the Hurricane Andrew response and recovery operations and later helped developed the concepts and the framework for the Army's first field manuals on Peace Operations and Support to Domestic Authorities.  From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Nelsen served as Chief, Strategy Division, J5, the Joint Staff, during which time he orchestrated the development of the 1997 National Military Strategy; three Joint Strategy Reviews; Theater Engagement Planning; Joint Vision 2020; two sets of DOD’s Illustrative Planning Scenarios; two Joint Strategic Capability Plans (JSCPs); a comprehensive NATO Interoperability assessment; and numerous other studies and key activities for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS).