Major Christopher C. Olsen

Major Christopher C. Olsen

Military Deputy, Office of the Air Force Chief Software Officer

Major Christopher Olsen is currently serving as the Military Deputy, Office of the Air Force Chief Software Officer. Mr. Nicolas Chaillan—the Secretary of the Air Force’s Chief Software Officer—is responsible for enabling CSO efforts with Air Force programs in the transition to Agile and DevSecOps to establish force-wide Digital Air Force capabilities and tactics, tools, and procedures, including continuous Authority to Operate (c-ATO) processes and faster, streamlined technology adoption.

The Chief Software Office works with the Program Executive Officers (PEOs) and is responsible for analyzing current software and cloud migration plans to avoid vendor lock-ins while allowing for rapid prototyping and a streamlined process for deployment. To keep up with the pace of technology, the CSO evaluates and authorizes new commercially available off-the-shelf software and cloud-related technologies to help with their adoption across various Air Force programs based on their mission needs.

Major Christopher C. Olsen previously served as an Air Force Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies in Arlington, Virginia. The Mitchell Institute is an independent, nonpartisan policy research institute established to provide creative, insightful policy options that better empower our nation’s leaders by informing the national security debate, educating about aerospace power’s unique role in securing America’s global interests, and cultivating air minded talent.

Major Olsen received his commission through ROTC from Texas A&M University in 2008, graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering. He also holds a master’s degree in systems engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy in aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. His experience includes technical intelligence analysis, aerospace research, and science and technology program management.

Major Olsen has served in a variety of technical, leadership, and staff positions. His assignments include Flight Commander, 34th Intelligence Squadron; Branch Chief, Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications Solutions, National Security Agency; RC-SW Detachment OIC (deployed), 777th Expeditionary Prime BEEF Squadron, Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan; Chief of Plans and Program, 707th ISR Group; and Director of Operations for Autonomy, Power and Control Division, Air Force Research Laboratory.

Education:

  • 2008 Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
  • 2014 Technical Leadership in Systems Engineering (SPRDE Level III), Fort Belvoir, VA
  • 2014 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL
  • 2014 Master of Science, Systems Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
  • 2018 Doctor of Philosophy, Aeronautical Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH

Assignments:

  • July 2008 – September 2011, Space Employment Engineer, Space Analysis Squadron, Space and Missile Group, National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH
  • September 2011 – May 2013, Nuclear Command and Control Research and Development Engineer, Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications Solutions Branch, National Security Agency, Fort Meade, MD.
  • April 2012 – October 2012, RC-SW Detachment OIC, 777th Engineering Prime BEEF Squadron, Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.
  • May 2013 – July 2014, Branch Chief, Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications Solutions, National Security Agency, Fort Meade, MD.
  • September 2013 – July 2014, Flight Commander, 34th Intelligence Squadron, Fort Meade, MD.
  • July 2014 – August 2015, Chief of Plans and Programs, 707th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group, Fort Meade, MD.
  • August 2015 – September 2018, Student, Doctor of Philosophy degree in Aeronautical Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.
  • September 2018 – September 2019, Director of Operations for Autonomy, Power and Control Division, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.
  • September 2019 – July 2020, Executive Officer to the Commander, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.
  • July 2020 – Present, Air Force Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, Arlington, VA.

Major Awards and Decorations:

  • Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
  • Air Force Commendation Medal
  • Army Commendation Medal
  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
  • Air Force Organizational Excellence Award

Effective Dates of Promotion:

  • Second Lieutenant May 9, 2008
  • First Lieutenant June 12, 2010
  • Captain June 12, 2012
  • Major April 1, 2018