Nicole Villareal Bastian
Corps Grad ’03
I am currently a Marine Corps Officer, stationed in Okinawa, Japan, with 3d Marine Division, where I serve as the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff G-1, Division Manpower Officer, and G-1 Operations Officer. I'm working on my Master's in Leadership and Management from Marshall University, and in a seminar for Command and Staff through Marine Corps University. I also do volunteer work as a member on the Student Advisory Counsel for Bechtel Elementary School, volunteer with the Girl Scouts, and actively participate in the Okinawa Officer's Lean In Circle. I am originally from Tampa, Florida, and a Citadel Class of 2003 alumna from Alpha Company, where I majored in political science. I earned a Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law in 2005, I am three-times published, and I have been in the Marine Corps for nearly 12 years. My incredibly supportive spouse, Joe Bastian, and I have been married for 10 years, and we have an 8-year-old daughter named Ava.
What is your favorite memory from The Citadel?
My dad is an airline pilot, and when I was at The Citadel, his route took him frequently to South America. Every few months, I received care packages from home and each included Chilean Java that was simply decadent and highly caffeinated! My barracks room became the company coffee shop, and as the high-quality coffee brought classmates and upper classmen by, so too did bonds among us grow. I spent a good amount of time bonding over a good cup of coffee, whether it was before parade with my roommate, Sherry Dove (listening to Otis Redding's Sitting on the Dock of the Bay), or during the high stress of exam week, helping others power through a night of binge studying!
Why should young women consider attending The Citadel?
Values-based college educations are rare in our country; The Citadel provides just that. You can get an education anywhere, but The Citadel experience is unmatched when it comes to learning in an environment that challenges you physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually on a daily basis, while simultaneously developing your strengths in each of those areas. You leave The Citadel with the confidence and skills to accomplish your life-goals.
Bastian was also featured in the 2014 edition of Women's History Month.