Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson
US Marine Corps, Retired
Lieutenant General (ret.) Lawrence Nicholson served as the Commanding General of III Marine Expeditionary Force, leading 30,000 Marines and Sailors in the Asia-Pacific region, from 2015 to 2018.
Graduating from The Citadel in 1979, Lieutenant General Nicholson served as an infantry officer in the First Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California, where he commanded and deployed to the Western Pacific, leading multiple platoons and rifle companies. From 1990 to 1993, Nicholson was assigned to the staff of US Naval Academy. Following a year at the US Army Command and General Staff College, where he earned a Master’s Degree, he was assigned to the Middle East as a United Nations Observer for UNTSOPalestine. In 1995, he reported to Camp Lejeune, NC, as the Executive Officer of the Wolfpack of 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, and in 1998, assumed command of the Warlords of 2nd BN 2nd MAR where they deployed as part of 26th MEU to the Balkans.
Upon graduation from the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy in 2002, he was assigned to NATO HQ in Brussels, Belgium, where he served as the Ground Forces Planner for the US Military Delegation to NATO. In July 2004, he reported to the 1st Marine Division HQ at Camp Blue Diamond, Ramadi, Iraq, where he served as the Division G-3. In July of 2005, he assumed command of the 5th Marine Regiment and deployed with them to Fallujah, Iraq from January 2006 to February 2007. From January 2009 through June 2010, he served as the Commanding General of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Task Force Leatherneck, deploying with them for a year to southern Afghanistan.
Upon return from this combat tour, he was assigned as the Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C., from July 2010 to February 2012. In February of 2012, Nicholson returned to Afghanistan for a year serving as the Operations Officer for the ISAF Joint Command in Kabul, Afghanistan. General Nicholson then assumed the duties as Commanding General, 1st Marine Division in 2013. He is currently a member of Spirit of America’s Advisory Board.