Retired Navy Adm. Eric Olson and retired Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Maguire are the 2019 recipients of the highest honors of the Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) division of the National Defense Industrial Association, the Arlington, VA-based nonprofit defense industrial group announced today.
Olson will receive the R. Lynn Rylander Award, named for a Defense Department civilian and a founder of the SO/LIC division, who was an advocate and activist for Special Operations Forces. Maguire will receive the DeProspero Lifetime Achievement Award, named for retired Army Col. Albert DeProspero, who served in Special Forces and is another founding member of the SO/LIC division, as well as supporter and advocate of the Special Operations community.
These awards, presented annually, recognize each man’s distinct contribution of lasting impact in Special Operations, low-intensity conflict and irregular warfare. The awardees will be recognized during a banquet Tuesday, Feb. 5, the first day of the 30th annual SO/LIC Symposium and Exhibition at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport in Arlington. The 2019 event runs Feb. 5-7.
Olson retired from the Navy in 2011 after a 38-year career. He commanded at every level in Naval Special Operations, culminating as the eighth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command. Olson was the first Navy SEAL to be appointed to three-star and four-star flag ranks, as well as the first naval officer to be USSOCOM’s combatant commander. He is now an independent consultant who supports a wide range of private- and public-sector organizations. He also is an adjunct professor and research scholar in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Maguire retired from the Navy in 2010 after a 36-year career, mostly in Naval Special Operations. In his last position, he was deputy director for strategic operational planning at the National Counterterrorism Center. Previously, he was commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, home of the Navy SEALs and Special Warfare combatant craft crewmen. He was nominated by President Donald Trump and is awaiting Senate confirmation to be director of the National Counterterrorism Center.