|CAPT Joseph R. Olson
Commanding Officer (August 2016 - June 2018)
Captain Olson is a native of Madison, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin and received his commission from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. He earned a masters degree in business administration from Keller Graduate School of Management.
Olson’s initial sea tour was on board USS GUNSTON HALL (LSD 44), from March 1992 to March 1995, where he served as auxiliaries officer, 2nd division officer, electronics material officer and assistant first lieutenant.
In his follow on sea tour, he served as a detachment officer-in-charge of Assault Craft Unit 2 from April 1995 to January 1997.
Following department head training, Olson served as chief engineer on board USS DEXTROUS (MCM 13) (MCM Rotational Crew Foxtrot) from October 1999 to June 2000; USS WARRIOR (MCM 10) from July 2000 to July 2001; and USS FREDERICK (LST 1184) from August 2001 to July 2002. He served as executive officer on board USS CLEVELAND (LPD 7) from March 2004 to December 2005 and completed his command tour on board USS GREEN BAY (LPD 20) from August 2008 to June 2010.
Olson’s shore assignments include: Director of Diesel Schools and Advanced Electronic School at Service School Command, Great Lakes, Illinois; flag secretary to Commander, Amphibious Group 3; Pacific Fleet Cruiser, Destroyer and Amphibious Placement Officer; and deputy director, Surface Warfare Officer Distribution, Naval Personnel Command, Millington, Tennessee. He completed his assignment to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) as an action officer for the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E). Following his tour at OSD, he reported to the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV), Programming Division (N80) where he served as the lead analyst for ship and submarine programs.
He served as chief of staff at Expeditionary Strike Group 3 from December 2013 to October 2014 prior to his assignment as the executive officer on board USS AMERICA (LHA 6) from March 2015 to August 2016. Olson assumed command of AMERICA in August 2016.
He is authorized to wear the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (five), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three), and various unit and campaign awards.