Olsens enter retirement

Majors Mike and Ruth Olsen

After 35 years of combined officership, Majors Mike and Ruth Olsen have entered retirement.

Mike and Ruth were honored with retirement meetings in London and in Las Vegas, Nevada. In London, England General John Larsson presented them with their retirement certificates. During the meeting, which was led by the International Secretary for Program Resources Commissioner Margaret Taylor, Commissioner Reinder Schurink (Commander, Russia 1992-1994) paid tribute to the courage and hard work of Mike and Ruth.

Commissioner Todd Bassett, national commander, presented their certificates in the Las Vegas retirement service.

Commissioned in the Eastern Territory in 1956 with the Sword Bearers Session, Ruth Kaizer placed her officership “on hold” when she married Mike in 1959. They were blessed with four children: Sven, Dennise, Michelle and James.

Mike’s first careers were as a police officer and firefighter. During President Jimmy Carter’s administration, Mike served on the senior management staff of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington, D.C.

In 1987, after years of voluntary and employee status with The Salvation Army, the Olsens were made auxiliary captains with DHQ appointments in Southern California: Mike as the divisional social services coordinator and Ruth as divisional statistician.

In 1992 they were appointed to the Russia Command, where they developed the new command headquarters while opening a corps in central Moscow. Later they were assigned to lead the Army’s work in the Ukraine and Moldova and to develop the work in Georgia.

The Olsens returned to the U.S. in 1995, reporting to El Paso County, Tex., Mike as county coordinator and Ruth as director of special services.

They were next posted to International Headquarters, Mike as international emergency services coordinator and Ruth as his administrative officer. In this position Mike traveled over 250,000 miles per year, to every continent. Recently, he pioneered the Army’s response to the war in Iraq. Mike also helped develop an international disaster preparedness training program.

As they enter well-deserved retirement, both Mike and Ruth leave a legacy of Christ-like caring. Their retirement address is 1109 Royal Birch Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89144.

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