Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines
Lt. Col. Eric M. Olson

LtCol Olson is a native of Side Lake, Minnesota.  He was commissioned in the United States Marine Corps following graduation from the United States Naval Academy in May 2000.


Following initial training at The Basic School and Infantry Officer Course, Lieutenant Olson was assigned to 3d Battalion, 2d Marines (3/2) in Camp Lejeune, NC in April 2001.  While there he served as a Rifle Platoon Commander, Weapons Platoon Commander, Combined Anti-Armor Platoon Commander, and Company Commander.  During his time with 3/2, he deployed to Okinawa in 2001-2 as part of the Unit Deployment Program, participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, and also deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to conduct fence line security in 2003-4.   


Lieutenant Olson’s next duty station was Weapons Training Battalion in Quantico, VA where he was assigned as the Assistant Operations Officer.  In 2005 he was promoted to Captain and reassigned duties within the battalion to serve as the Officer-in-Charge of the High Risk Personnel Course.  In 2007, Captain Olson was selected to attend the Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS) in Quantico, VA.    


In 2008, following graduation from EWS, Captain Olson was assigned duties as the Company Commander for Company L, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5) in Camp Pendleton, CA.  While with 3/5, he deployed as part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and participated in Theater Security Cooperation missions in the Kingdom of Thailand, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, and Australia.  In October 2009, Captain Olson was assigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force - Forward to serve as the Senior Watch Officer during a year-long deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  In October 2010, he was promoted to Major. 


In July 2011, Major Olson reported to Madison, WI for duties as the Inspector-Instructor for Company G, 2d Battalion, 24th Marines (2/24).  In July 2014, Major Olson reported to Marine Corps University as a student at the Command and Staff College.  Following his course work, Major Olson was assigned as the Battalion Executive Officer (XO) with 1st Battalion, 1st Marines (1/1).  During his time with 1/1, Major Olson deployed to Australia in support of Marine Rotational Force-Darwin. 


In June 2017, Major Olson was reassigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force to serve as a Regional Plans Officer within the G-5 Plans Section.  In August 2017, LtCol Olson was promoted to his current rank.  He reported to 1st Battalion, 5th Marines (1/5) in May 2018 to fulfill the duties of the battalion commander.      


LtCol Olson’s professional military education includes Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Expeditionary Warfare School, and the Basic School.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Oceanography from the United States Naval Academy and a Masters of Military Studies from Marine Corps University.


LtCol Olson’s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat distinguishing device and two gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon.

1st Marine Division