Hear retired U.S. Navy Commander Jon Olson discuss how the military functions in today’s international order, and how might it be balanced with diplomatic and foreign assistance capabilities.
About Jon Olson
Jon Olson served as a U.S. Naval Intelligence Officer before retiring in 2011 at the rank of commander. During his 21-year naval career, Jon’s assignments included duty aboard aircraft carriers and large deck amphibious ships, numerous international operations including to Iraq, Bosnia, and Afghanistan, and service in the U.S. Navy strategic-level clandestine Human Intelligence collection operations as a CIA-trained case officer. He also qualified as a U.S. Navy parachutist, logging 35 jumps. Jon’s final assignment before retirement was as the U.S. Naval Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. Since retiring, Jon has co-authored several novels and short stories, and a feature-length screenplay about the Falklands War named, “A Close Run Thing.” Currently, Jon is an adjunct professor at Carleton College and in the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University. He also serves as president of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association – Upper Midwest Chapter. Jon holds a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College.
- The Classic Book on Military Strategy and History of the Second World War, both by B.H. Liddell Hart
- Weapons of Mass Deception, Death of a Pawn, Jihadi Apprentice, and Battle of Djinni – coauthored books by Olson and David Bruns