Norm served in the Navy for 30 years as a Naval Special Warfare SEAL officer, the majority involving duty as an Underwater Demolition Team Frogman and Navy SEAL. His naval career spanned the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Cold War. He attended over 30 Service Schools and held qualifications as an NSW Officer, Surface Warfare Officer, Second-Class Deep-Sea Diver, and Master Naval Parachutist. He commanded at every level in NSW, and served in Vietnam as commander of the U.S. Military Assistance Command’s Special Operations Group (SOG) Maritime Operations Group. He was the first SEAL officer selected for a Navy Major Command assignment as commanding officer Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Virginia.
Phoca Press regretfully announces the passing of retired SEAL Captain Norm Olson, author of Phoca Press’s first-in-the-series book Air Capabilities of the U.S. Navy SEALs. Norm’s book provides an enduring history surrounding the development and refinement of military static-line and free-fall parachuting, which evolved to make Navy SEALs the world’s foremost tactical parachutist.
Norm was the founding director and established the Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida, which was dedicated on Veteran’s Day 1985. He moved on to work at various jobs supporting the Navy, Naval Special Warfare, and the U.S. Special Operations Command. After retirement, he once again joined the Museum’s Board of Directors, where he served for many years, and was appropriately honored as a lifetime Director Emeritus.
Twenty-one years after he retired from the Navy, Norm returned to skydiving, and within six years made 1,800 jumps, making his 4,000th free-fall parachute jump on his 80th birthday. In 2002, Captain Olson was a recipient of the United States Special Operations Command Medal for a lifetime of outstanding contributions to Naval Special Warfare and Special Operations, and in 2011 he was inducted into the USSOCOM Commando Hall of Honor for having served with great distinction and demonstrated exceptional leadership and selfless service within the special operations community.