Capt. Nathan J. Nylander was born in Fairbury, Ill. on Jan. 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 Air Force Base 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, Fla., where he met his wife, Miriam. They were married at the enlisted club at Patrick AFB later that year and went on to have three 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. Also, he was only the second person in the history of the course to score an overall 100 percent. Senior Airman Nylander transferred to Luke AFB, Ariz., 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.
Sgt. Nylander continued outstanding performance in all his weather assignments that followed, winning his Squadron’s Pierce Awards for the best Noncommissioned Officer Weather Forecaster at both the 607th Weather Squadron and Site R where he led weather operations for Presidential Weather Support.
In February of 2006, Sgt. 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, Ariz. After 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 27, 2011, in Afghanistan. Nathan is survived by his wife Miriam Nylander and three 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
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 Border
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