Bryan Nichols was born on October 16, 1979, in Hays, Kansas. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve on December 1, 1996, and went on active duty to begin basic training on December 16, 1996. Pvt Nichols completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, in March 1997, and Advanced Individual Training as a Medical Supply Specialist at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, in August 1998. He served with Detachment 2 of the 388th Medical Logistics Battalion at Hays, Kansas, from December 1996 to January 2006, and then attended Warrant Officer Candidate School from January 2, 2006, until he was appointed a Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve on March 1, 2006. WO Nichols attended Rotary-Wing Aviator training and CH-47 Chinook transition training from December 2006 to June 2008. He was assigned as a CH-47 pilot with Company B, 7th Battalion of the 158th Aviation Regiment at New Century, Kansas, in April 2006, until he was killed in action in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. During this time, CW2 Nichols deployed with his unit to Qatar from February to August 2002, to Kuwait from March to May 2003, to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from May to July 2003, to Germany in July 2004 and again from October to November 2004, to Bosnia Herzegovina from July 2004 to February 2005, and to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from May 2011 until his death on August 6. Bryan Nichols was buried at the Pleasantview Cemetery in Palco, Kansas.
His Bronze Star Medal Citation reads:
For meritorious service from 13 May 2011 to 6 August 2011, while assigned to Company B, 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, during Operation Enduring Freedom. Chief Warrant Officer Two Nichols’ commitment contributed to our Nation’s continual war on terrorism and his actions represented his dedication to the security of the United States of America. His sincere desire to bring peace and stability to a foreign nation is an example of what all American Soldiers strive to achieve. No greater honor can be demonstrated by his ultimate sacrifice, and he will be forever remembered for his actions. Chief Warrant Officer Two Nichols’ duty performance and selfless service are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Forces – Afghanistan, and the United States Army.