Lieutenant Colonel Randall “Randy” L. Nickel enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 1995, and attended recruit training at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina.
In May 1996, Private First Class Nickel was assigned to Counter Battery Radar Platoon, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. During this tour, he served in various billets as a member of a Counter Battery Radar Platoon to include Team Leader and New Equipment Training Team Instructor for the Q-46A radar system.
In 1999, Sergeant Nickel was selected for the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program and attended The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Staff Sergeant Nickel earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in July 2002.
Upon completion of The Basic School in March 2003, Second Lieutenant Nickel attended Logistics Officers Course at Camp Johnson, North Carolina where he was the honor graduate. In July 2003, he reported to Truck Company, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California for duty as a Truck Platoon Commander. In February 2004, Second Lieutenant Nickel attached his platoon to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment for deployment to Ar Ramadi, Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. Upon return from Iraq, First Lieutenant Nickel received Permanent Change of Assignment orders to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. During this assignment, he served as the Maintenance Management Officer, Assistant Logistics Officer, and later the Logistics Officer. In July 2005, First Lieutenant Nickel deployed with Battalion Landing Team 2/1, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit where he participated in exercises in the Philippines, Australia, Djibouti, and Egypt. In October 2005, the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit was ordered into Iraq as the theater reserve to participate in Operation Steel Curtain in the western Al Anbar Province.
In June 2006, First Lieutenant Nickel reported to Combat Service Support Group 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, Kaneohe Bay Hawaii. From July 2006 to November 2007 he served as the Group Operations Officer and Detachment Officer In Charge of Combat Logistics Company 33. In November 2007, Captain Nickel was assigned to Afghan National Army Embedded Training Team 1-10 and in February 2008 deployed to Eastern Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon return from deployment in December 2008, he was assigned as the Headquarters Company Commander, Combat Logistics Battalion 3.
In July 2009, Captain Nickel reported to Expeditionary Warfare School in Quantico, Virginia where he graduated with honors on the Marine Corps University President’s List. Upon graduation in May 2010, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, Manpower Management Officer Assignments Branch to serve as the Company Grade Monitor logisticians spanning eight different Military Occupational Specialties.
In December 2011, Captain Nickel was selected on Commandant’s Professional Intermediate-level Education Board to attend Norwegian Command and Staff College. After language training, he reported to the Norwegian Defence College, Oslo, Norway in May 2013. Major Nickel followed his assignment as a student at Norwegian Command and Staff by serving as the Marine Corps Exchange Officer to the Norwegian Army serving in various capacities from contingency planning to doctrine development.
In July 2015, Major Nickel reported to Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Kaneohe Bay Hawaii where he served as the Group Logistics Officer. In March 2017, he attended Weapons Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 1-17 at MCAS Yuma, AZ earning the secondary MOS 7077, Aviation Ground Support WTI.
Major Nickel assumed Command of Marine Wing Support Detachment 24 on 25 May, 2017 where he led more than 180 Marines providing Aviation Ground Support for the largest MAG in 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.
Major Nickel reported to United States Africa Command in July 2018 serving in the J44, Logistics Support Division, as Logistics Plans Branch Chief and in August 2019 moved to the J45, Set the Theater Division to serve as the Deputy. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 1 Nov 2018.
Lieutenant Colonel Nickel’s personal awards include: the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal in lieu of gold star, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal in lieu of gold star and combat “V”, Combat Action Ribbon in lieu of gold star.