Retired May 1, 1991.
Major General Keithe E. Nelson is judge advocate general, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Nelson was born in 1935, in Grand Forks, N.D., and graduated from Concordia High School, St. Paul, Minn., in 1953. He received a bachelor of philosophy degree in 1958 and a bachelor of laws degree in 1959, both from the University of North Dakota. He completed Air Command and Staff College in 1969. The general has been admitted to the Supreme Court of North Dakota, U.S. Court of Military Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has been certified as a trial and defense counsel, law officer and military judge.
The general received his commission through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program in June 1958. His first assignment was in August 1959 as assistant staff judge advocate, 806th Combat Support Group, Chennault Air Force Base, La. In September 1961 General Nelson transferred to the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, West Germany, and served as assistant staff judge advocate. On his return to the United States in September 1965, he was appointed staff judge advocate of the 804th Combat Support Group, Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D.
After graduating from the Air Command and Staff College in June 1969, he was assigned as staff judge advocate, 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station Wethersfield, England. He then served as staff judge advocate of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station Bentwaters, England, from July 1970 to July 1973.
The general's next assignment was as deputy chief of the Career Management and Plans Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, at Air Force headquarters. He was designated chief of the division in July 1974. In May 1977 General Nelson was named commandant of the Air Force Judge Advocate General School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
In May 1981 he was assigned as staff judge advocate of Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va. The general became director of the U.S. Air Force Judiciary, Office of the Judge Advocate General, and vice commander, Air Force Legal Services Center, Washington, D.C., in November 1982. In February 1984 he was assigned as staff judge advocate, Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He became deputy judge advocate general at Air Force headquarters in September 1985 and assumed his present position in July 1988.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster, and Air Force Organizational Excellence Award.
He was promoted to major general Sept. 1, 1985, with date of rank Oct. 1, 1982.