Col. Kent R. Olson is the Commander of the 119th Wing, North Dakota Air National Guard. He began his career by enlisting with the 119th Fighter Interceptor Group in 1981 serving as an Aircraft Munitions Systems Specialist. After being selected for training as an F-4 Weapons System Officer, Col Olson earned his commission from the Air National Guard Academy of Military Science (AMS). After AMS he graduated from Undergraduate Navigator Training in 1988. With the conversion to the F-16, Col Olson completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and rejoined the 178th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.
Col Olson held several positions at the 119th Wing including the 119th Operations Support Squadron Commander, the 119th Fighter Wing Chief of Safety, 178th Fighter Squadron Operations Officer, Chief of Standards and Evaluations, Chief of Training, Chief of Wing Plans, and the 178th Fighter Squadron Life Support Officer.
Col Olson is an instructor pilot and functional check flight pilot in the C-21. He is a command pilot with more than 3,100 hours, primarily in fighter aircraft. He is a native of Fargo, North Dakota.
1986 Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
1991 Squadron Officer School, correspondence, Maxwell AFB, AL
2003 Air Command and Staff College, correspondence, Maxwell AFB, AL
2006 Air War College, correspondence, Maxwell AFB, AL
1. January 1981 - March 1987, Munitions Systems Specialist, 119th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 119th Fighter Interceptor Group, Fargo ND.
2. March 1987 - April 1987, Graduate, ANG Academy of Military Sciences, McGhee Tyson ANGB, TN.
3. June 1987 - February 1988, Student, Undergraduate Navigator Training, Mather AFB, CA.
4. April 1988 - May 1988, Fighter Lead-In Training, Holloman AFB, NM.
5. May 1988 - January 1989, F-4 Weapon Systems Officer Training, Kingsley Field, Klamath Falls, OR.
6. January 1989 - June 1990, F-4 Weapons Systems Officer, 178 FIS, Fargo, ND.
7. June 1990 - June 1991, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, MS.
8. September 1991 - October 1991, Fighter Lead-In Training, Holloman AFB, NM. 9. November 1991 - May 1992, F-16 Training, Kingsley Field, Klamath Falls, OR. 10. June 1992 - October 1998, F-16 Pilot, Life Support Officer, 178th FIS, 119th FG, Fargo ND.
11. October 1998 - October 2000, Wing Plans Officer, 119th FW, Fargo, ND.
12. October 2000 - October 2001, Chief of Training, 119th Operations Group, 119th FW, Fargo, ND.
13. March 2001 - August 2001, Chief of Stan/Eval, 119th Operations Group, 119th FW, Fargo ND.
14. August 2001 - October 2002, 178th FS Operations Officer, 119th FW, Fargo, ND. 15. October 2002 - October 2007, Chief of Safety, 119th FW, Fargo, ND.
16. October 2007 - October 2008, 119th Operations Support Squadron Commander, 119th WG, Fargo, ND
17. October 2008 - March 2013 119th Vice-Wing Commander, 119th WG, Fargo, ND
18. March 2013 - Present, 119 Wing Commander, 119 WG, Fargo, ND
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,200
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, F-4, F-16, C-21
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one silver and three oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Medal with one oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with star device
Global War on Terrorism Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with one silver and one oak leaf cluster
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with hourglass device and M device
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with star device
Air Force Training Ribbon with oak leaf cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Apr 2, 1987
First Lieutenant Sep 1, 1989
Captain Apr 30, 1993
Major Jul 15, 1999
Lieutenant Colonel Aug 17, 2003
Colonel Feb 27, 2009
(Current as of March 2013)