Who is Disabled Vets?


DISABLED VETS was formed in 2008 as a consulting company focused on the optimization of program and project management and planning to address the common challenges of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) — master planning, military programming services, team building, and cost efficiency.

The decision to open a SDVOSB consulting company was obvious to owner Michael R. Nelson, Col-Ret., who had served as an active-duty officer for 11 years and as a reservist for 34 years. During that time, Col. Nelson served in multiple positions relating to as an emergency preparedness and response and the movement and housing of U.S. military personnel. 

Aside from site and property management, he has expertise in the areas of safety, physical security, force protection and environmental operations as well as the areas of contracting, developing and securing new business opportunities.

In the private sector, Col. Nelson was positioned as project lead on several high-profile and large projects in which he was responsible for coordinating and supervising teams of engineers assigned to resolve construction, accessibility, and environmental challenges for developers of multiple mixed-use facilities. These massive facilities spanned office, retail, warehouse, multifamily housing, and other property types, and are located throughout the United States and its territories.

With attention to client needs that include cost analysis, budgeting, replacement recommendations, technical and quality control, and timeliness, Col. Nelson has a history of customer relations that repeatedly result in projects coming in on-time and on-budget. 

Col. Nelson believes in a proactive response to practical matters and has the experience to address challenges that help clients avoid costly problems and implementation of contingency plans. He arrives with solutions and takes pride in creating efficiencies that effectively respond to any obstacle presented.

This dedication to service, problem-solving and fulfillment is the result of a lifelong learning that started with Col. Nelson's grandfather teaching him "honey-do" items like carpeting, tiling, small engine and car repairs, welding, and vocation studies that emphasized finishing projects and doing them well. 

Nelson's early commitment to excellence led him to West Point where he studied computer science. Spending much of his military service in the outskirts of Washington, D.C., Col. Nelson received his MBA in economics and finance and his juris doctorate from the University of Baltimore. He raised his two daughters in the Baltimore area, one of whom he delivered himself while stationed at Ft. Hood.

That life-changing experience added a personal touch to Col. Nelson's perspective on readiness, another area where DISABLED VETS exceeds. As a former deputy director for the Commonwealth Research Institute, Col. Nelson assisted in the planning and execution of a wide range of activities related to the creation of a comprehensive national capabilities registry designed to complement endeavors by the Homeland Security and Defense Departments, as well as FEMA and the National Preparedness System. This classified Secret program aims to provide a quick response to emergent crises and provide the needed information to risk managers serving the national goals of contingency sourcing, capabilities-based planning and risk assessment.

This role prepared Col. Nelson to work with the adjutant general of Delaware in responding to Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters and manmade emergencies.

As an active duty US Army Commander stationed in Ft. Meade, MD, Col. Nelson commanded the 311th Signal Command (Theater) Support Unit – Pacific, a Lt. Col.-level command of 300 personnel. During this time, he ensured that all assigned or attached personnel were mission ready and properly resourced.

Col. Nelson has served in several roles as assistant or liaison for chiefs of staff, directors, owners, senior leadership groups, and commanding officers. He has worked in service of hundreds of staff and employees as well as for thousands of military personnel, tenants, and residents. 

His practical knowledge, experience, and efficiency benefited the Maryland Multi-Housing Association board of directors, where he participated for eight years. He departed after serving as president of the organization representing 60 commercial property owners and management companies who collectively operated160,000 units.

Col. Nelson, who suffered two major heart attacks while in service to the nation, has never given up his desire to find solutions that help his fellow Armed Servicemen and women, the nation, or its residents and citizens. 

As private, small business owner DISABLED VETS brings the tenacity, insight, and project management expertise to solve any logistical challenges. 


Col. Michael R. Nelson, Founder and owner of Disabled vets


  • EMG (11/13/16 – Present) – Program Manager, Owings Mills, MD
  • CONNOR (3/13/2011 – 11/12/16) – Director, Real Estate Due Diligence, Baltimore, MD
  • Commonwealth Research Institute (04/23/2007 – 3/12/2011) - Deputy Director
  • US Army (Active) (07/30/2006 - 05/15/2007) - Commander, Ft Meade, MD 
  • US Army (Active) (02/02/2005 - 07/29/2006) - Deputy Chief of Staff, Ft Meade, MD 
  • Winn Residential (12/01/2004 - 02/01/2006) - Vice President, Boston, MA 
  • Trammel Crow Residential (02/01/2004 - 11/30/2004) - Regional Manager, Rockville, MD
  • US Army (Active) (08/01/2003 - 02/01/2004) - Staff Engineer, Ft Meade, MD 
  • Mid-Atlantic Realty Management (08/01/1994 - 08/01/2003) - Executive VP, Baltimore, MD 
  • US Army Reserve (05/15/2007 - Present) - Assistant Chief of Staff, G4, Ft Meade, MD
  • US Army Guard and Reserve (08/31/1995 - 07/29/2005) - Engineer Staff Officer, Ft Meade, MD 
  • US Army (Active) (06/01/1986 - 07/01/1994) - Engineer and Facility Officer


  • Maryland Elite SDVOB Network
  • Maryland Multi-Housing Association (Board of Directors from 1996-2003), Treasurer (2000), Vice President (2002), President and State delegate (2003)
  • REM Chapter 16 Member (1996 – )
  • United States Army Reservist (over 32 years of Federal Service)
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (2009 – Present)
  • American Legion (2006 – Present)


  • BS in Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
  • MBA, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Juris Doctorate, University of Baltimore Law School, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Certified Property Manager, IREM Chapter 16
  • Certified Mediator, Maryland
  • Department of Defense, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
  • Continuing Education, Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Program Management Level I 
  • Registered Apartment Manager, National Association of Home Builders

Integrity From the Start

In 1988 & 1989, Col. Nelson received the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, which recognizes company grade officers who demonstrate the ideals for which General MacArthur stood  — duty, honor, country.