An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : About Us : Our Leadership : Leadership view

Col. Daniel E. Nelsen

Col. Daniel Nelsen is Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff and Director of Staff – Air at Missouri National Guard Headquarters, Jefferson City, Missouri.  As the Director, he oversees the daily operations of the headquarters staff and directs activities in joint planning and operations, human resource administration, policy guidance and implementation, logistics and communications support, intelligence, and security and infrastructure management to meet federal and state security and homeland defense requirements.  He supports the Chief of the Joint Staff and the Assistant Adjutant Generals and coordinates with Inter-Agencies and Non-Governmental Agencies to coordinate and provide manpower and resources in times of need.

Colonel Nelsen entered the Air Force in May 2003 through ROTC from Iowa State University.  He completed civil engineer officer training in July 2004, and subsequently held a variety of engineering positions relating to facilities maintenance, construction management, and infrastructure development planning.  He has commanded expeditionary units at the Flight and Squadron levels and taken part in multiple domestic and international Deployments for Training including to Navajo Nation (Arizona and New Mexico), Maine, Pennsylvania, Germany, and Norway.  While a Drill Status Guardsman from July 2010 until October 2016, he served in a civilian capacity as the Chief of Portfolio Optimization, 509th Civil Engineer
Squadron, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, where he was responsible for Whiteman’s installation development planning, energy program, and for obtaining funding and authority to execute over $50M in annual facility and infrastructure construction and repair.

From October 2016 to June 2023, Colonel Nelsen served as the Commander and Base Civil Engineer, 131st Civil Engineer Squadron, 131st Bomb Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, Jefferson Barracks Air National Guard Station, Missouri.  He was responsible for the sustainment and modernization of $150 million in facilities and infrastructure to facilitate B-2 and Air Operations command and control missions.  He commanded an 83-member Squadron that included military, civilian, and state-employed personnel to execute more than $3 million annually in infrastructure operation and improvement.  Colonel Nelsen is a licensed Professional Engineer in Missouri and Iowa and is married to Lt Col (Ret.) Molly Nelsen (nee Foster). They have two sons, Kristian (17) and Oliver (15), and two daughters, Sophia (13) and Gretel (11).
2001     Bachelor of Science, Geology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
2001     Bachelor of Science, Engineering Science, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
2003     Masters of Science, Civil Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
2003     Air and Space Basic Course, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2004     Civil Engineer Officer School, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
2008     Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence
2017     Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence
2020     Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence
1.       June 2003 – June 2004, Lead Maintenance Engineer, 375th Civil Engineer Squadron, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

2.     June 2004 – February 2006, Facility Project Programmer, 375th CES, Scott AFB, Ill.
3.     February 2006 – July 2010, IMA to Operations Support Chief, 375th CES, Scott AFB, Ill.
4.     July 2010 – October 2016, Operations Officer, 131st Civil Engineer Squadron, Jefferson Barracks Air
          National Guard Station, Mo.
          (November 2013 – June 2014, Operations Flight Commander, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer
          Squadron, Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait)
5.     October 2016 – June 2023, Commander, 131st CES, Jefferson Barracks ANGS, Mo.
          (January 2022 – July 2022, Commander, 474th Air Expeditionary Squadron, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo,
          Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba)
6.     June 2023 – present, Director of Staff – Air, Joint Force Headquarters, Missouri Air National Guard,
          Jefferson City, Mo.
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air and Space Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with five oak leaf clusters
Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation



Second Lieutenant May 10, 2003
First Lieutenant May 28, 2005
Captain May 28, 2007
Major Jan. 24, 2012
Lieutenant Colonel Jan. 26, 2017
Colonel July 29, 2023

(Current as of August 2023)