Donnie Nelson was born in Chicago, IL and has resided in Tuscaloosa, AL since the age of 6. He enlisted into the Army National Guard in December 1988. He went to basic training and Military Police School at Fort McClellan, AL in August 1989 and graduated in January of 1990. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in September of 1995. In 1997 he completed Instructors Training at Fort McClellan, AL National Guard Training Center. He reported to active duty just after September 11, 2001, for force protection duty for 2 years. In January of 2004 he deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom for over a year as a Battle NCO and a supervisor for detaining high value targets. From 2006 to 2008 he was assigned to Fort McClellan National Guard Training Center to establish a National Guard Transition school for Military Police. During that assignment he also established a Military Police School in Georgia and South Carolina. In 2008 he was reassigned as Operations NCO for 1166th MP Company and promoted to Master Sergeant. From 2010 to 2015 he was assigned as the First Sergeant for the 1166th MP Co., 2015 to 2019 and he was assigned as the First Sergeant at 31st Chemical Brigade. He currently works in Operations at 31st Chem Brigade.
1SG Nelson has recently retired as a Sheriff Deputy with the Tuscaloosa County Sheriffs Office and from the Alabama Army National Guard after 31 years.
1SG Nelson's education consist of attending Shelton State and The University of Alabama. 1SG Nelson obtained a degree in Management Human Resources with Faulkner University in Montgomery, AL.
Assignments: 31st Separate Armored Brigade-Northport, AL, 1166th MP Co-Greensboro, AL, 231st MP Battalion, Prattville, AL and Baghdad, Iraq, 200th Training Regiment-Ft. McClellan, AL, 1166th MP Co-Marion and Oneonta, AL, 203rd MP BN-Athens, AL, 128th MP Co-Huntsville, AL, 31st Chemical Brigade, Tuscaloosa, AL
Awards and Decorations: 6-Army Commendation Medals, 4-Army Achievement Medals, 2-Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals, 2-National Defense Service Medals, 1-Humanitarian Service Medal, 2-Meritorious Unit Commendation Medals, 1-Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, 1-Army Service Ribbon, 1- Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, 1-Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, 1-Combat Action Badge
Joined the VFW in 2019 and has served as Senior Vice Commander and now currently serves as our Commander