McRaven most recently served as the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C.
He has also commanded at every level within the Special Operations community, including assignments as the commander of Special Operations Command Europe, director of the NATO Special Operations Forces Coordination Centre, deputy commanding general for Operations at JSOC, commodore of Naval Special Warfare Group 1, commander of Seal Team 3, Task Group Commander in the Central Command area of responsibility, Task Unit Commander during Desert Storm and Desert Shield, squadron commander at Naval Special Warfare Development Group, and SEAL platoon commander at Underwater Demolition Team 21/SEAL Team 4.
His professional education includes assignment to the Naval Postgraduate School, where he helped establish and was the first graduate from the Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict curriculum.
Olson, the first Navy SEAL to be promoted to three and later four-star rank, will retire in August after 38 years of service to the nation.
“My most powerful memories will be of the individual people who selflessly serve or served," Olson said. "I’ve had the opportunity to meet them at their headquarters, training areas and forward bases, hospitals and recovery centers.
"Their motivation is strong, their skills are incredible, their bravery in the face of the enemy is unflinching, their spirit is unwavering and their families are impressive almost beyond belief… I admire each of you for all you have done and continue to do.
“To serve as commander has been the highest of honors,” Olson said. “This is a force of which America can and should be intensely proud. And it is a force that America surely needs.”