BUCKLEY SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. --
1st Lt. Zachary Olson, Space Base Delta 2 Commander’s Action Group chief and was awarded the Force Support Company Grade Officer of the Year award at the Space Force level for 2022.
From his first day in the United States Air Force as an Airman 1st Class, Olson knew he wanted to make his goal of commissioning into a reality.
“I feel grateful, I’ve been able to work around some spectacular mentors that have put me in positions where I love working with some incredible people,” Olson said. “ All of my work would also not be possible without the great people that I’ve worked with from the 544th Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Group and Space Base Delta 2.”
Starting with school as soon as he could, Olson completed his Community College of the Air Force degree in Nondestructive Testing, and worked towards his Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science, and then toward his Master’s in Public Policy. Olson was a full-time student, while effectively performing the duties as a 2A7X2, or Nondestructive Inspection.
“Making the shift from enlisted to officer is not an easy task,” Olson remarked. “It is an extensive process from taking the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test, filling out the pages upon pages of the application correctly, and then getting your commander to ultimately approve, all before you meet the board.”
According to Olson, the process is rigorous, making the applicant feel as if they are stuck in place, but the reward is ultimately worth waiting for.
Commissioning presents a wide lens view to the tactical mission operated by members of the armed forces, and Olson feels that his big picture vision has been sharpened thanks to his transition.
“Commissioning has shown me the bigger picture and how every job fits into the greater puzzle. I have worked in a Maintenance Group, an Operations Group, a Mission Support Group, an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance group, and now in SBD2,” Olson said.
This also presents him with the opportunity to help those around him build their own puzzles in understanding how their jobs fit into the big Air Force puzzle.
“Each of these are all so different in their own ways so, being able to pull these pieces together to build the puzzle gives a great look at the Air Force as a whole,” Olson said.
With this incredible journey, knowledge gained and character built, Olson was awarded the Force Support Company Grade Officer of the Year award at the Space Force level for 2022.
“I feel grateful!” he exclaimed. “I’ve been able to work around some spectacular mentors that have put me in positions where I love working with some incredible people. All of my work would also not be possible without the great people that I’ve worked with from the 544th ISRG and SBD2.”
Olson is motivated from his goal of continuing to learn, develop and grow. This applies personally and professionally, and he believes there is always a way to improve.
“One of my biggest pieces of advice that I give people is ‘take the risk,’” said Olson. “If you’re nervous about applying for a position or special program, what are the negative consequences? There are none. The worst they can say is ‘You weren’t selected…we look forward to you applying next cycle.’”