Ships Master: Captain Jonathan Olmsted

Captain Jonathan Olmsted hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. He graduated from California Maritime Academy and joined Military Sealift Command in 1996.

Captain Olmsted began his sea career as an Able Seaman (deckhand) and Third Officer aboard ammunition ship Kilauea, followed by replenishment oiler Pecos. In 1998 he served as Second Officer (navigator) aboard oiler Guadalupe. From 1999 to 2003 his tour of duty aboard ammunition ship Flint as Cargo Officer included two Arabian Gulf combat deployments in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

As First Officer (civilian XO) aboard fast combat support ship Rainier, Captain Olmsted helped convert the former Navy vessel to MSC operation and assisted with the Navy’s immediate aid to Indonesian tsunami victims in 2005. He also served as First Officer aboard oiler Pecos, ocean tug Navajo, and salvage ships Grasp and Salvor.

Since 2007 Captain Olmsted has commanded seventeen MSC ships in the Pacific, Far East, Atlantic, Caribbean, and Arabian Gulf: Ocean tugs (ATF) Catawba and Navajo; ammunition ships (AE) Flint and Kiska; replenishment oilers (AO) Henry J. Kaiser, John Ericsson, Pecos, Tippecanoe, and Yukon; dry cargo/ammunition ships (AKE) Richard E. Byrd, Carl Brashear, Wally Schirra, Matthew Perry, and Washington Chambers; and both hospital ships (AH) MERCY and COMFORT.

From 2014 to 2017 he was the original “Plankowner” Master of USS Lewis B. Puller, the Navy’s first Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB). In 2018 Captain Olmsted joined USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) on her maiden voyage from Maine to San Diego, CA.

Captain Olmsted has received the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, two Merchant Marine Outstanding Achievement Medals, and several unit and expeditionary awards for his contributions at sea, including eight Arabian Gulf deployments and six humanitarian missions.