A Marine shows up to work early, stays several hours late, takes time to help any Marine who needs help, makes time for the gym and takes pride in serving the Marine Corps.
Master Sgt. Joseph Nelson, the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 maintenance control chief, sets the example for all of his Marines to follow.
“Master Sgt. Nelson deserves recognition because of his continuous devotion to the Marine Corps,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jeremy Brown, the VMFA-251 flight deck coordinator. “He is the Marine others should try to emulate. He believes in right and wrong, black and white with no gray areas and Marines can expect consistency from him.”
Nelson is responsible for the entire VMFA-251 maintenance department, oversees all of the maintenance production and prioritizes what needs to be done so the jets are ready to fly. He works from the beginning of the flight schedule until the end, even if it goes pass the 12-hour workday.
“I always put forth all of my effort and try to do my best at everything I do,” Nelson confessed. “When I make decisions I try to think about how much work it will create for the Marines, and I make decisions that will make the least amount of work for them. I also get as much information as I can to make sure everybody is doing everything correctly.”
Nelson joined the Marine Corps because he didn’t feel like he was going anywhere with his life and wanted to do something for a cause and not just for himself. He has been in the Marine Corps for 18 years and has no plans of getting out anytime soon.
“Master Sgt. Nelson has a lot of knowledge about the Marine Corps from his time in,” stated Cpl. David Maul, a VMFA-251 expeditor. “He helps this squadron run better and is someone that I look up to and would like to be like. He’s given me the opportunity to see how all of the maintenance shops work.”
He has a first class Physical Fitness Test and Combat Fitness Test score, expert on the rifle range and goes to the gym every day after work to relieve stress and improve himself physically while trying to motivate other Marines to go.
“I think that if Marines see their leader going to the gym then it will help motivate them to go,” Nelson stated. “I try to lead by example at work, by staying in shape and in everything that I do.”
During Nelson’s time away from work, he enjoys spending time with his family, going fishing and hunting with friends, including his fellow Marines.
“I enjoy going hunting with him because he knows so much about hunting and I’m new to it, so he is able to help me while we have a great time and are able to build camaraderie,” Brown said.
Nelson makes himself available to the Thunderbolts by being knowledgeable and ready to help mentor or assist any Marine who steps through his door -— day crew or night crew. He is a Marine that anyone can look up to and would want to follow.
“He takes very good care of his Marines,” Brown said. “He leads by example when teaching Marines and takes extra time to show the Marines the right way to do things. Sometimes I wonder if he ever sleeps because it seems like he’s always working.”