After graduating, Nicholas was commissioned in the Navy and began flight training, getting his wings in February 1968. Nicholas spent much of his time in the western Pacific with tours in Vietnam,Okinawa, and the Philippines. During that time Nicholas got to fly into Korea, Japan, Twaiwan,Hong Kong,Singapore and Thailand. He also spent some time in the Indian Ocean as well as Iran. After retiring in 1988, Nicholas flew for the airlines until he retired for good in 2004.