Capt Nathan Nylander


Captain Nathan J. Nylander was born in Fairbury, Illinois on January 23, 1976.  He is a graduate of Waller High School in TX, where he was a trumpet player in both the marching and jazz bands.  In July of 1994 he left for Basic Military Training at Lackland AFB and began his career as an Airman in the United States Air Force.  Upon completion of training he went to technical school at Goodfellow AFB in Texas to become a radio and satellite data analyst.  During technical school he was a Red Rope and saved an Airman’s life who was choking.  After technical school, he arrived at Patrick AFB, FL, where he met his wife, Miriam.  They were married at the enlisted club at Patrick AFB later that year, and went on to have 3 children, Tyler, Elisabeth and Andru..

In January of 1998, Senior Airman Nathan Nylander cross-trained into the weather career field.  He was a distinguished graduate of both the Weather Observer and Weather Forecaster courses.  In addition, he was only the second person in the history of the course to score an overall 100%.  Senior Airman Nylander transferred to Luke AFB, AZ, where he became a Non-Commissioned Officer.  He was an outstanding Airman and technician for the 56th Operational Support Squadron where he earned Forecaster of the Year honors for 1999 and 2000.  While at Airman Leadership School, he was selected as the Distinguished Graduate in addition to receiving an award for academic excellence.

Sergeant Nylander continued outstanding performance in all his weather assignments that followed, winning his Squadron’s Pierce Awards for the best NCO Weather Forecaster at both the 607th Weather Squadron and Site R where he led weather operations for Presidential Weather Support.  In February of 2006, Sergeant Nylander arrived at Officer Training School where he was recognized at the #1 graduate of his class in addition to winning the academic award for his Squadron. From 2006 through 2009 Lt Nylander was stationed at Hickam AFB, Hawaii.  During his tenure as the Operational Support Squadron weather flight commander, his flight earned a 99% on an Air Force Standardization and Evaluation inspection.  In May of 2009 Lt Nylander became the flight commander for the Central Flight at the 25th Operational Weather Squadron at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ.  After only three months on the job, he was lauded as an “exceptional performer” by the standardization and evaluation team inspectors and pivotal to the Squadron’s “excellent” rating.  In his critical leadership role, Capt Nylander was extremely innovative.  His ideas laid the foundation of a Squadron reorganization that propelled weather warning performance to its highest levels in over a decade. He cared deeply for his Airmen, mentored many individuals and was a joy to work for and with.   

    Capt. Nathan J Nylander was killed in the line of duty on April 27th 2011 in Afghanistan.  Nathan is survived by his wife Miriam Nylander and 3 children, his mother Mary Grant, stepfather Charles Grant, Father Wendell (Butch) Nylander, stepmother Carol Nylander, two Sisters Nikki Kelly and Tara Norris and one stepbrother Chris Bivens

Capt Nylander had a love of God, his Country and he was a true Patriot.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

                                                                                                                      --John 15:13

Awards and Decorations

Silver Star                                                           

Bronze Star

Purple Heart

Meritorious Service Medal w/ 1 OLC

AF Commendation Medal w/ 3 OLC                  

Joint Service Achievement Medal

AF Achievement Medal                                        

AF Combat Action Medal

AF Outstanding Unit Award w/ 1 Silver OLC       

AF Organizational Excellence Award

AF Good Conduct Medal w/ 3 OLC                     

National Service Defense Medal w/ 1 Bronze Star

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Afghanistan Campaign Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Korean Defense Service Medal

Armed Forces Service Medal

Armed Forces Overseas Ribbon - Short

AF Expeditionary Service Ribbon w/ Gold Boarder

AF Longevity Service w/ 3 dev

USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (rifle)

AF Training Ribbon w/ 1 OLC

NATO non-Article 5 ISAF Medal