In a ceremony at the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) on 23 March 2012, LT Laura M. Nichols, USN was recognized by as the Captain Sidney E. Wood Naval Intelligence Professionals (NIP) ONI Junior Officer of the Year Award. ONI Commanding Officer, CAPT Robert Rupp, USN, and CAPT Mark Greer, USN (Ret), representing the NIP Foundation committee, presided at the ceremony. LT Nichols was deployed at the time of the ceremony and will receive her awards at a later date. These include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and a commemorative wall plaque and 5 year membership in NIP. LT Nichols’s name will also be recorded on a permanent plaque and displayed in the ONI History Foyer.
LT Nichols is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy and was commissioned in June 2007. Upon graduation from Naval Intelligence Officers Basic Course (NIOBC) she reported to Maritime Civil Affairs Squadron TWO at Yorktown, VA as the first intelligence officer. He next assignment was to the ONI Kennedy Irregular Warfare Center where served as the intelligence officer with a detachment of Naval Special Warfare that conducted full spectrum irregular warfare operations in support of Operation enduring Freedom. During a six-month deployment to Iraq she served as the lead Female Engagement Tam planner. She deployed again in 2011 as the lead intelligence officer with EOD’s Combined Explosive Exploitation Cell.