Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Nelson was born in Moore, Oklahoma and graduated from West Moore High School of Moore, Oklahoma in 2007. He graduated from Murray State College with a degree in gunsmithing in 2015. Nelson joined the Marine Corps in May 2008, and was assigned to the 2nd BN, 5th Marines at Camp Pendleton, CA. He subsequently joined the Army and was assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in 2015.
Nelson graduated from the Corporals Course, Camp Hansen, Okinawa (2009); Infantry Assault Leaders Course, Camp Pendleton, CA (2010); U.S. Army Sniper School, Camp Robinson, AR (2014); Basic Leaders Course Fort Benning, GA (2016); Advanced Leader Course, Fort Benning, GA (2017); Senior Leaders Course, Fort Benning, GA (2021).
His awards include Army Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal w/ V device, Army Achievement Medal (2), Combat Action Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Unit Commendation, Army Good Conduct Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism, Humanitarian Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NATO Medal and a Certificate of Achievement.