Nicole Villareal Bastian is the second of five children born to a former Marine Sergeant turned United Airlines captain and a florist; she is from Tampa, Florida. In 2002, Nicole Villareal became one of the first two-dozen women to graduate from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. While at The Citadel, she ran cross-country, scored the first goal for the first women's soccer team, and was the first and only female on the Rifle Legion, the General's drill team. In Fall 2001, she studied abroad in Florence, Italy at the Lorenzo Di Medici Institute.
After earning her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science, she attended Stetson University College of Law. She was the first female Citadel graduate to be admitted to law school. Between her 2L and 3L years, she matriculated to Officer Candidate School through the PLC-Law program. Following her 2004 commissioning, she completed law school in 2005, earning her Juris Doctorate. In Fall 2006, she assessed to Fox Company at The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia.
In 2007, 1st Lieutenant Bastian reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island for assignment to the Depot Law Center, Headquarters and Service Battalion, followed by assignment as the Headquarters and Service Battalion Adjutant through 2009. In 2009, Captain Bastian became the Adjutant for Marine Aircraft Group 31 at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort. While serving as an Adjutant, Captain Bastian held billets as the Legal Officer, Classified Materials Control Custodian, Casualty Affairs Calls Officer, Education Officer, Protocol Officer, Voting Officer, and Deserter Collection Point Officer.
In 2010, Captain Bastian deployed on an Individual Augment to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (Operation Enduring Freedom) as the Global Forces Management Action Officer. While deployed, Captain Bastian was selected for assignment as the Command Element French interpreter, Aide-de-Camp to BG Glasgow, US Army, and as the Staff Secretary. Following redeployment in May 2011, Captain Bastian reported to Recruiting Station Jacksonville as the Officer Selection Officer in Tallahassee, Florida.
Following a successful tour as an Officer Selection Officer, finishing second in the Eastern Recruiting Region rankings, Captain Bastian was selected for and reported to Expeditionary Warfare School in July 2014. She was the Expeditionary Warfare School class president. Promoted to Major in April 2015, she was assigned to 3d Marine Division as the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff G-1, where she also served as the Division Manpower Officer, G-1 Operations Officer, Deputy Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Korean Theater of Operations Red Cell Team Leader, and the Senior Watch Officer for Ulichi Freedom Guardian 16. From September 2016 to May 2017, Major Bastian served in the S-3 at 4th Marine Regiment as the Future Operations Officer. Major Bastian assumed command of Recruiting Station St. Louis in June 2017.
Major Bastian is married to Joe Bastian of Rochester, Minnesota, a retired PGA golf professional turned entrepreneur in customized awards and apparel. They have a 9 year-old daughter, Ava Jean. Major Bastian’s personal awards include a Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and an Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. In 2010, she received the II Marine Expeditionary Force Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award.