MARYLAND — On Thursday, Oct. 6, Patrick Nikkila, youngest son of Nick and Dee Nikkila of Deep River, was promoted to colonel. The promotion ceremony took place at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland where Col. Nikkila will now be serving as the chief of staff, U.S. Army 20th CBRNE Command.
Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J. Snow, commanding general U.S. Army Recruiting and Brig. Gen. William E. King IV, commanding general 20th CBRNE Command, both spoke highly of Nikkila during the ceremony.
Snow, who has known Nikkila for a number of years, noted, “He speaks his mind and I like that. I think it’s a refreshing quality. When leadership asks a question, he doesn’t tell them what they want to hear. He tells them what they need to hear. I really appreciate that.”
King, for whom Nikkila will now be working, noted that Nikkila had the best qualifications for the position of any of the candidates.
“He has a reputation of dedication, devotion and professionalism,” King said. “A fellow officer, for whom I have great respect, called me when he heard Col. Nikkila was a candidate for the chief of staff position. He told me he knows of no one in the entire community that’s as professional and hard-working and has the desire to make something right every single day as Col. Nikkila. For me, that sealed the deal.”
Nikkila’s wife Debra, son Jake and daughter Mikaela were on hand to remove his lt. colonel shoulder boards and replace them with colonel shoulder boards.
Nikkila now joins his older brother Col. Sean Nikkila as a senior officer. Sean Nikkila, a member of the Oregon National Guard, was promoted to colonel last year.
“We’re mighty proud of these two men,” said their parents. “There probably aren’t many families blessed to have two sons who both achieve the rank of colonel. Even better, they are both good husbands, good fathers and men of principles.”