Lt. Col. Wesley J. Nims has been appointed chair and professor of aerospace studies at Clarkson University.
His responsibilities include recruiting, educating and training Air Force ROTC cadets in preparation for active duty service as commissioned officers in the United States Air Force through academic instruction in Air Force doctrine, history, and national security studies, as well as practical experience in all aspects of leadership and officership.
Nims received his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia, graduating with distinction and as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC Detachment 890. He received his master of business administration from Webster University, St. Louis.
For his military training, Nims graduated from Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, and Air Command and Staff College. He earned his Navigator Wings at Randolph AFB, Texas. He is rated as a Master Navigator, having flown more than 4,000 hours with 360 combat hours.
Nims has had a decorated military career, receiving the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters and Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster.
His tours of duty include serving with the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, where he participated in combat missions in Operations Joint Guard, Joint Forge, Joint Guardian, and Allied Force. Following that tour, he was assigned to the 62nd Airlift Squadron at Little Rock AFB, which was the C-130E Formal Training Unit for all C-130 aircrews. During this assignment, he served as the executive officer to the squadron commander.
Upon separating from active duty, he joined the 164th Airlift Squadron of the Ohio Air National Guard where he became the operations group Stan/Eval navigator and deployed twice to Kuwait to fly missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2005, he transferred to the 700th Airlift Squadron of the Air Force Reserves. He was a full-time reservist there, managed the unit’s formal training program and served as the chief of current operations.
In 2009, he joined the 116th Air Support Operations Squadron of the Washington Air National Guard, serving as a brigade air liaison officer and flight commander. Most recently, he was a flight commander and instructor navigator for the 186th Airlift Squadron of the Montana Air National Guard and deployed to Kuwait, serving as an assistant director of operations and flying missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
AFROTC Detachment 536 resides at Clarkson University and supports agreements with St. Lawrence University, SUNY Canton, and SUNY Potsdam.