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Nicole Villareal Bastian


"The adaptability, time-management skills, and resilience that I refined as a cadet provided me a bottomless well from which to draw physical and emotional courage, strength, pride and humility. In my adult life as a Marine, leader, mother, wife, and classmate I know that my formative years as a cadet, though not without theirs flaws, shaped who I have become." – Semper Fi, Captain Nicole Villareal Bastian


Nicole Villareal Bastian, The Citadel

Nicole Villareal Bastian is the second of five children born to a former Marine Sergeant turned United Airlines captain and a florist; she is from Tampa, Florida. In 2002, Nicole Villareal became one of the first two dozen women to graduate from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. While at The Citadel, she ran cross country, scored the first goal for the first women's soccer team, and was the first and only female on the Rifle Legion, the General's drill team. In Fall 2011, she studied abroad in Florence, Italy at the Lorenzo Di Medici Institute.

After earning her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science, she attended Stetson University College of Law. She was the first female Citadel graduate to be admitted to law school. Between her 2L and 3L years, she matriculated to Officer Candidate School through the PLC-Law program. Following her 2004 commissioning, she completed law school in 2005, earning her Juris Doctorate. During law school she clerked for Ortner Law in Charleston, South Carolina, clerked for Liberty Mutual Insurance’s in-house counsel in Tampa, Florida, and completed the Federal Public Defender’s clinic. She received the William Blews Pro Bono Service Award and recognition from Who’s Who Among American Law Students. In Fall 2006, she assessed to Fox Company at The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia.

In 2007, 1st Lieutenant Bastian reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island for assignment to the Depot Law Center, Headquarters and Service Battalion, followed by assignment as the Headquarters and Service Battalion Adjutant through 2009. In 2009, Captain Bastian became the Adjutant for Marine Aircraft Group 31 at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort. While serving as an Adjutant, Captain Bastian held billets as the Legal Officer, Classified Materials Control Custodian, Casualty Affairs Calls Officer, Education Officer, Protocol Officer, Voting Officer, and Deserter Collection Point Officer.

In 2010, Captain Bastian deployed on an Individual Augment to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (Operation Enduring Freedom) as the Global Forces Management Action Officer. While deployed, Captain Bastian was selected for assignment as the Command Element French interpreter, Aide-de-Camp to BG Glasgow, US Army, and as the Staff Secretary. Following redeployment in May 2011, Captain Bastian reported to Recruiting Station Jacksonville as the Officer Selection Officer in Tallahassee, Florida.

Captain Bastian is married to Joe Bastian of Rochester, Minnesota, a retired PGA golf professional turned entrepreneur in wood-work and customized awards. Together they own Bastian Awards. They have a 6 year-old daughter, Ava Jean and an adopted daughter, 23 year old Lance Corporal Amber Haven who is a Combat Camera Marine stationed at Miramar. Captain Bastian’s personal awards include a Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and an Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. In 2010, she received the II Marine Expeditionary Force Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award. In 2012, she received recognition from Who’s Who Among Latin American Professionals. In 2014, she was selected on the Commandant’s Career Level Education Board for Expeditionary Warfare School, where she will begin this summer in Quantico, Virginia.