Commander Matthew “Mandy” Olson, a native of Bolingbrook, Illinois, CDR Matt Olson was commissioned via the University of Illinois NROTC program in December 2000 and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in September 2002. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Political Science as well as a Master of Arts Degree and a Master of Philosophy Degree from Air University. CDR Olson is a graduate of the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) and the Carrier Airborne Early Warning School (CAEWWS) Weapons and Tactics Instructor course.
CDR Olson’s operational assignments include tours with VAW-123 as a junior officer, Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI), and Department Head. He has deployed in support of OPERATION’s Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Summer Pulse 2004. CDR Olson also briefly served as the Air Operations Officer to Naval Special Warfare Task Group-Arabian Peninsula, Baghdad, Iraq.
Ashore, CDR Olson was assigned to the E-2 Hawkeye Weapons and Tactics Unit (WTU) where he instructed fleet aircrew on tactical employment and systems utilization. He spent two years in Montgomery, Alabama attending the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) as well as the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS). In March of 2015, he reported to the Joint Staff, J6 DDC5I (Joint Fires Division) at NSA Hampton Roads in Norfolk, VA. He served as the Joint Fires Division Combat Identification (CID) Section Lead, where he synchronized efforts across all Combatant Commands, Services, and Agencies to analyze, field, and manage emerging CID capabilities.
CDR Olson has flown numerous combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan. His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medals, and Navy Achievement Medals as well as other individual, campaign, and unit awards.