Whidbey News-Times


Olson earns distinguished Air Force grad

July 20, 2013 · Updated 10:53 AM

Chris Olson of Oak Harbor earned distinguished graduate status from the Air Force Academy. / Photo provided by Carol and Jess Olson

CHRISTOPHER J. OLSON graduated from the United States Air Force Academy on May 29 in Colorado Springs, Colo. with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

Olson graduated in the top 10 percent of his class of 1,024 as a Distinguished Graduate with Academic Distinction and is one of 35 Academy Scholars. He was on the Dean’s List all eight semesters and is a member of two engineering honor societies.

During his time at the Air Force Academy, Olson completed Combat Survival Training, earned his Parachutist Badge and Glider Instructor Pilot wings, and was an instructor pilot for Basic and Advanced Soaring. In addition, he is the fourth cadet ever to be selected to be a USAFA Cross Country Soaring Instructor Pilot.

Olson was captain of the Air Force Academy Sailplane Racing Team for their record-breaking season and competed in TG-15A Duo Discus and TG-15B Discus 2b gliders in Utah, New Mexico and Nevada setting state and academy records. He also set the record for the farthest distance a TG-10B Merlin glider was flown away from the Academy.

Among his many soaring accomplishments he earned his Federation Aeronautique Internationale Silver and Gold Badges which are internationally-recognized levels of soaring achievement for altitude, duration and distance. He served as the 94th Flying Training Squadron Cadet Superintendent and Public Affairs Officer and was selected to take various dignitaries soaring.

Olson continued to skydive outside the Academy and made a total of 86 jumps earning his A and B skydiving licenses. He also took scuba diving at the Academy.

Olson cross-commissioned to the Navy as an Ensign and was sworn in by his father, LCDR Jesse Olson, USN (Ret) on May 28.

A 2009 graduate of Oak Harbor High School, he drove from Oak Harbor to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., in late June where he reported for Aviation Pre-flight Indoctrination and Naval Flight Officer Training.

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