Paul W. Nickell

Military Professor College of Leadership and Ethics
Cmdr., U.S. Navy
Paul W. Nickell faculty photo


Paul W. Nickell enlisted in the Navy in 1996, selected for BOOST and the Enlisted Commissioning Program, received a B.S. and commission from Auburn University in 2002, and was designated a Naval Flight Officer. Tours include VP-26, VPU-2, VP-30, VP-10, Assistant Navigator aboard CVN-70, and Commanding Officer of VP-45. Shore assignments as Flag Aide to Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet and Command Course Instructor for Naval Leadership and Ethics Center. Nickell has operated in every geographic region, logged over 3,300 flight hours, and served on world-class teams awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Navy "E" Ribbon, along with various campaign awards.

Contact Information

Areas of Expertise

  • Air Warfare
  • Ethics
  • Leadership
  • Submarine Warfare

Professional Highlights


Began teaching at the U.S. Naval War College

Joined the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island to teach in the College of Leadership and Ethics.

Graduated from the U.S. Naval War College

He graduated from the U.S. Naval War College, where he was dual enrolled at the Naval Postgraduate School, resulting in a graduate certificate in Strategic Leadership.

Began teaching at the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center

Facilitated the growth and development of Prospective Major Commanders, Commanding Officers, Executive Officers, and Command Master Chiefs.

Commanding Officer of VP-45

Completed his tour as the Commanding Officer of VP-45 based in NAS Jacksonville, FL. Led the World Famous Pelicans on an extended deployment to the SEVENTH Fleet during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.


M.A., U.S. Naval War College, 2023, National Security and Strategic Studies

B.S., Auburn University, 2002, Applied Discrete Mathematics

Related Credentials

Leadership Practices Inventory-360 Coach

Hogan Assessments Coach

Immunity to Change Qualified Map Facilitator for Individuals and for Teams

Adult Development Assessment: Subject Object Interview Reliable Score

Awards and Decorations

Navy League Sea Service Leadership Award

Stennis Center "The Admiral" Leadership Award

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