Admiral who led in hunt for bin Laden cedes command

Tacoma News TribuneAugust 11, 2011 

A Tacoma native who led U.S. Special Forces as they drew in to kill Osama bin Laden signaled the end of his 38-year military career this week, giving up his command on a day when Americans continued to mourn the loss of 22 Navy SEALs in a Taliban attack.

Adm. Eric Olson couldn’t do anything about the timing. He’d been scheduled for months to relinquish leadership of the U.S. Special Operations Command to fellow Navy SEAL Adm. Bill McRaven.

Olson handed his command to McRaven on Monday, just two days after the SEALs were killed with eight other American service members as they flew in a Chinook helicopter to reinforce Army Rangers in a firefight in Afghanistan.

Olson, 59, acknowledged that his goodbye at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa was made “more poignant” by the deaths of those service members, as well as by the losses of another dozen service members on Special Ops missions in Afghanistan over the past three weeks.

Read the complete story at

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service