Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Culver enlisted in the United States Navy Delayed Entry Program (DEP) on 24 October 2001 in Pittsburgh, PA. Seaman Recruit Culver subsequently reported to Recruit Training Command (RTC), Great Lakes.
After completion of RTC, Seaman Culver reported to Naval Air Station, Meridian, MS to attend Disbursing Clerk (DK) “A” School. Following DK “A” School, DKSN Culver reported aboard USS CAMDEN (AOE-2) at NAVSTA Bremerton, WA and deployed in August 2003 with the LINCOLN CARRIER STRIKE GROUP in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and operations in the Northern Arabian Gulf.
While aboard the USS CAMDEN, DKSN Culver earned the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS), Aviation Warfare (AW) pin, and was promoted to Disbursing Clerk Third Class (SW/AW). Additionally, DK3(SW/AW) Culver received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy for direct entry to the Class of 2007.
On 25 May 2007, Lieutenant Colonel Culver graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics (with distinction) and was commissioned in the United States Marine Corps. After completion of The Basic School, Lieutenant Colonel Culver attended primary and helicopter advanced flight training in Milton, FL at NAS Whiting Field.
On 11 September 2009, Lieutenant Colonel Culver was designated a Naval Aviator and selected to fly CH-46E Sea Knight aboard MCAS Camp Pendleton, CA. Once complete at the Fleet Replacement Squadron, Lieutenant Colonel Culver reported to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 (HMM-364). While at HMM-364, Lieutenant Colonel Culver served in a variety of billets to include Adjutant, Legal Officer, Phase OIC, Flight Equipment OIC, Flight Duty Officer, and Current Operations Officer.
In September 2012, HMM-364(REIN) deployed with the 15th MEU aboard USS PELELIU (LHA-5) as the forward deployed ready-force. While deployed, HMM-364(REIN) participated in numerous Theatre Security Cooperation operations.
After returning from the 15th MEU in May 2012, Lieutenant Colonel Culver began transition/conversion training to the KC-130J aboard MCAS Miramar, CA. After completion of the Fleet Replacement Detachment-West, Lieutenant Colonel Culver reported to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352(VMGR-352) aboard MCAS Miramar.
While at VMGR-352, Lieutenant Colonel Culver served as the NATOPS Officer and Powerline OIC; and while deployed, served as the Future Operations Officer and as the Assistant Operations Officer (AOPSO) for VMGR-352 Detachments Alpha and Bravo and the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response Central Command (SPMAGTF-CRCC).
Upon his return from SPMAGTF-CRCC, in August 2016, Lieutenant Colonel Culver reported to VMGR-252 at MCAS Cherry Point, NC to serve as the Aircrew Training Officer and Current Operations Officer before attending Weapons and Tactics Instructors Course (WTI) 17.2. After his return from WTI, Lieutenant Colonel Culver was the Pilot Training Officer, and subsequently the Assistant Operations Officer.
In March 2018, Lieutenant Colonel Culver transferred to the KC-130J Fleet Replacement Detachment where he served as the KC-130J Fleet NATOPS Evaluator, Fleet Replacement Instructor, Administrative Officer, Aviation Safety Officer, and Safety and Standardization Officer.
In June 2019, Lieutenant Colonel Culver was selected to attend Intermediate Level School (ILS) at the Canadian Forces College (CFC) in Toronto, ON Canada and earned a Masters in Defense Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada.
Following ILS, Lieutenant Colonel Culver reported to VMGR-152 where he served as the Assistant Operations Officer, Operations Officer, and Executive Officer billet until May 2022. At the completion of this tour, he moved to serve at HQMC, DC Aviation as the Fixed Wing Assault Support Planner until reporting to VMGR-252 for command.