Brig. Gen. John Olson
Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of Space Operations (CSO/MA), U.S. Space Force
Brig. Gen. John M. Olson is the Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, Headquarters United States Space Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. The Chief of Space Operations serves as the principal uniformed advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force on Space Force activities and is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. United States Space Force responsibilities include developing Guardians, acquiring military space systems, maturing military space power doctrine and organizing space forces to present to the joint Combatant Commands. Brig. Gen. Olson assists and advises the Chief with responsibility to organize, train and equip active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian space forces conducting innovative, agile, and responsive space and information operations to support, protect, and defend U.S. and allied interests. Brig. Gen. Olson develops strategy, plans, policy and priorities for efficient and effective research, development, testing, operations and sustainment of technologies, capabilities and systems with partners and allies for global leadership in space and related operations. Brig. Gen. Olson also flies as an Airborne Emergency Action Officer conducting strategic deterrence and operations missions aboard the Looking Glass Airborne Nuclear Command Post, supporting the president and National Command Authorities.
Brig. Gen. Olson graduated with military distinction from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1992 and received a graduate scholarship to earn a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Illinois. His initial assignment was to the Air Force Advanced Composites Program Office at Sacramento Air Logistics Center, California. While on active duty, he held numerous air, space, acquisition, test, weapons, political-military, intelligence, and technology command, staff, and leadership roles. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and a former European and Eurasian Foreign Area Officer. The general deployed to Southwest Asia, supporting air and space operations for operations Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, New Dawn in Iraq, Odyssey Dawn in Libya and Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. The general transitioned to the Air Force Reserve in 2004 after joining NASA, where he served as a Senior Executive Service civilian leader in several roles for almost a decade. In his civilian capacity, he is a former CEO, Vice President, and General Manager of private and public corporations, following 25 years of federal service culminating as the Assistant Director for Space and Aeronautics in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Prior to his current assignment, Brig. Gen. Olson served as the Mobilization Assistant to the Commander, 16th Air Force, Air Forces Cyber, and Joint Forces Headquarters-Cyber at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas where he helped lead 49,100 Information Warfare Airmen.