U.S. combatant commander to visit CSULB
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 19:10
The sixth installment of the Distinguished Speakers series will host Admiral Eric T. Olson, who was in charge of U.S Special Operations Command when Osama Bin Laden was killed.
Olsen will discuss team building, leadership and the shifting of U.S military tactics from large armies to small, precise special forces units that are better suited to combat terrorist organizations.
Olson served in the U.S military for 38 years, and was combatant commander of U.S Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), the unified commanding force for all U.S Special Forces in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Marines, from 2007 to 2011. He is the first naval officer to be appointed to the position and has been widely hailed as a key figure in U.S special operations strategy.
Cofounder and director of the Distinguished Speakers Series Art Levine said there has been intense interest in the event, and many Navy SEALs have been calling for information.
“This might be the biggest one we’ve had,” he said.
Levine said he had considered a political figure but thought potential audience members would be turned away by the prospect of a politically charged address when the elections are quickly approaching.
“We thought people would be tired of politics, so we decided to go in a different direction,” he said.
Tickets for the public start at $40, but half-priced $20 tickets are available to students.
After the event, a three-person panel composed of Cal State Long Beach’s Director of Veteran Affairs Marshall W. Thomas, the chair of the Academic Senate Dan O’ Connor and a student who served active military time as a marine will moderate a question and answer session with Olson.
Audience members will be allowed to submit questions to the panel for Olson.
Levine said the goal of the Distinguished Speakers series is to bring speakers of interest who deal with pressing issues of the time to campus to motivate listeners, and that this year’s guest continues that tradition.
“He’s legendary in the field, and most people, myself included, until a few weeks ago, have never heard of him,” Levine said.
President F. King Alexander, Long Beach City mayor Robert Foster, as well as Long Beach’s elected city auditor, elected city prosecutor and former Navy SEALs will be in attendance, Levine said.
The event will start in the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday