Meet District 19 Senate Candidate Stace Nelson

Posted by Stace Nelson on April 7, 2016

A Lifetime of Public Service

Stace Nelson is a proud 4th generation South Dakotan, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, a retired NCIS agent, a former two-term SD State Representative, and Christian family man. He was raised in the Salem, Sioux Falls, and Mitchell area and graduated from Mitchell High School in 1985. He followed a family tradition of serving in the military, and of being a public servant, serving our country as a Marine and an NCIS agent for over 23 years, with 18 of those years being overseas.

In 2010, he was elected to be a State Representative serving District 25 (Hanson, McCook, and a portion of Minnehaha, Counties) reelected in the new District 19 (Hanson, McCook, Hutchinson, Douglas, and Eastern Bon Homme, counties)in 2012  and holds a conservative voting record unmatched in the state.

Stace is a distinguished life member of the NRA; a member of the Alexandria Legion Post #41; a life member of the Fleet Reserve Association; a life member of the Cowboy Fast Draw Association; a member and past elder at Zion Lutheran Church in Mitchell.

He and his wife Aiza have six children and three grandchildren.

“I am who I am today because of my relationship with God. He has blessed, guided, and carried me through my whole life. With your support, and His hand on my shoulder, I will serve your interests and protect your rights in the South Dakota Senate.”

-Stace Nelson

The Marines


On May 7th, 1985, Stace joined the United States Marine Corps. On February 26th, 1986, he started Boot Camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Ca. For the next 13 1/2 years he served God, country, state, & Corps as a military policeman, criminal investigator, marksmanship instructor, and NIS & NCIS Special Agent. His tenure in the Marines saw service at numerous bases in California, Texas, Alabama, and Japan.  In 1999, he was Honorably Discharged due to aggravation of permanent injuries he sustained in August 1992 when as a criminal investigator he was assaulted by a suspect in a car while apprehending him for numerous crimes including drug trafficking, burglary, and death threats to a material witness. Stace prevented the suspect from harming the witness and took him into custody.  Even with those life-long injuries, Stace did not let that slow him down.  He continued his public service with NCIS as a civilian assisting with the criminal investigation, counter terrorism, force protection, and counterintelligence mission of the NCIS Far East Field Office seeing duty across Asia while primarily working out of the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan.



Stace’s alma mater is the United States Marine Corps. The Corps took him in as a young man, educated, clothed, fed, and sharpened his patriotic spirit and improved upon the man his parents raised. Stace learned what it is to be a leader, a professional soldier, a cop, and a true patriot from some of the finest Americans ever to serve their country. He cherishes that eternal fraternal bond with all those who have earned the title of United States Marine and those who have served our country in the armed services.

He has 5+ years of college education via Excelsior College in New York which he achieved in a nontraditional college environment while working full time as a U.S. Marine.

While his education was not the protected, luxurious laid back campus lifestyle of most collegians, he is proud to have scratched out an education under some of the most difficult of circumstances, while serving his country, and in the fashion of fellow Republican, President Abraham Lincoln.

Partial List of Military, Federal Law Enforcement, & Intelligence Courses Attended

  • Sexual Assault Investigations & Victim Interviewing, FLETC Glynco, Georgia
  • Joint Drug Enforcement Operations in Japan, Yokosuka Japan
  • SIGARMS Armorer Course, FLETC Glynco, Georgia
  • Counterfeit US Currency, US Secret Service, Yokosuka Japan
  • Surveillance & Counter Surveillance Training, Yokosuka, Japan
  • Counter Intelligence Staff Officer, JCITA, Camp Zama Japan
  • Firearms Safety, Department of Energy, Yokosuka Japan
  • Introduction to Instructional Systems Development, Department of Energy Yokosuka Japan
  • Antiterrorism Training, Defense Security Service, Yokosuka Japan
  • Personnel Security Management Program, Defense Security Service,Yokosuka Japan
  • Antiterrorism Training, Department of Defense, Yokosuka Japan
  • Counterterrorism Training, Department of the Navy, Yokosuka, Japan
  • Criminal Investigations in an Automated Environment Training Program, FLETC, Glynco, Georgia
  • Microcomputers for Investigations Training Program, FLETC, Glynco, Georgia
  • USMC SNCO Advanced Drill, Ceremonies, Inspections, & Awards Program, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • USMC SNCO Advanced Administration Program, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • USMC SNCO Military Training Course, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • USMC SNCO Drills, Ceremonies, Uniform Regulations, & Inspections Course, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • USMC SNCO Military Justice Course, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • USMC SNCO Physical Training Management Course, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • USMC Military Police Interview/Interrogation Forms Course, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • USMC SNCO Tactical Communications Course, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • USMC SNCO Operations Course, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • USMC SNCO Marine Corps History & Traditions Course, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • USMC SNCO Leadership Course, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • USMC SNCO Military Justice Course, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • USMC SNCO Personnel Administration Course, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • US Army Criminal Investigation Command Special Agent Basic Course, Fort McClellan, Alabama
  • USMC Marine Rifleman (Weapons) Course, MCLB Barstow, California
  • USMC Marine Rifleman Combat Skills Course, MCLB Barstow, California
  • US Army Military Police Investigator Course, Fort McClellan, Alabama
  • US Army Military Police Military Criminal Justice System Course, MCLB Barstow, California
  • US Navy Master At Arms 2 Rate Training Course, MCLB Barstow, California
  • US Army Military Police Law Course, MCLB Barstow, California
  • USMC Marksmanship Instructor Training, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California
  • USMC Noncommissioned Officer Basic Course, Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California
  • US Army Military Police Investigations Course, MCLB Barstow, California
  • US Army Military Police Prisoners of War Course, MCLB Barstow, California
  • US Army Military Police Corrections Course, MCLB Barstow, California
  • USAF Law Enforcement Specialist Course (USMC), Lackland Air Force Base San Antonio, Texas
  • USMC Basic Training, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California



In addition to the thousands of cases he worked as an NCIS Special Agent and Investigator, Stace also taught numerous classes to tens of thousands of military members, dependents, DOD civilians, and allied personnel. He was featured in several videos and movies shown to millions, including the NCIS video “NarcoTerrorism – The Threat to National Security” and featured as an expert on rape and sexual assault in the Oscar nominated documentary “The Invisible War.”

Classes Taught

  • Rape Awareness & Prevention
  • Counterterrorism
  • Counterintelligence
  • Operational Security
  • Background Security Investigations
  • Violent Crimes
  • Gang Violence
  • Gang Activity
  • Identity Theft
  • Counterfeit Currency
  • Illegal Drug Use Prevention & Awareness
  • Basic Criminal Investigations
  • Interview & Interrogations
  • Crime Scene Processing
  • Handgun Marksmanship
  • Shotgun Marksmanship

Awards and Commendations


  • Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism
  • NCIS Director Commendation on International Murder Case
  • NCIS Director Commendation on Murder of U.S. Marine Investigation
  • Recipient of Numerous NCIS Field Office SAC case commendations
  • Navy and USMC Commendation Medal
  • Commendation from Japanese NCO (Japan DEA)
  • Commendation from Iwakuni City, Japan Police
  • Commendation from Defense Security Service on security cases
  • Navy and USMC Achievement Medal (with gold star device (two awards))
  • USMC Good Conduct Medal (with three bronze star devices (four awards))
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • USMC Rifle Expert Badge (4th award bar)
  • USMC Pistol Expert Badge (12th award bar)
Stace Nelson
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