Lawrence D. Nicholson
Lieutenant General Nicholson, USMC, Retired was commissioned via the Naval ROTC program at The Citadel in 1979, where he earned a Bachelors Degree in English. His initial assignment was as a Platoon Leader with 3d Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment under the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California; from 1982-85 he was a Series Commander and Company Commander at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California. He has extensive experience in Iraq having led Regimental Combat Team 1 during Operation Phantom Fury, where he was wounded in action; served as a staff officer with the 1st Marine Division in Ramadi and commanded 5th Marine Regiment in Fallujah.
In Afghanistan, he commanded Task Force Leatherneck and the 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Helmand Province along with serving as Deputy Commander for Operations of the International Security Assistance Force. Prior to assuming command of 1st Marine Division, he was Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
General Nicholson earned a Masters Degree from the United States Army Command and General Staff College; he retired and passed command of III Marine Expeditionary Force to Lieutenant General Eric M. Smith, who is also a former 1st Marine Division commander, on August 2, 2018. General Nicholson also serves on an Advisory Board for Spirit of America, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.