NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) – Neenah’s Police Chief has reenlisted into the Army Reserve.
Chief Aaron Olson was previously in the Army Reserve for more than 13 years.
In his first sit down interview with Local 5 News since announcing the decision Monday, the chief said it was a perfect time to reenlist.
“I just feel really blessed,” said Chief Olson. “Hopefully some soldiers can learn a few things from me and I can learn some things from them .”
As Staff Sgt., Olson will be assigned as an instructor with the 86th Training Division headquartered on Fort McCoy.
Olson considers himself “a life-long learner.”
He says the reenlistment should not affect his job as chief at all.
“The trainings are on the weekends. I’m off on the weekends,” he explained. “And then two to three weeks a year I take vacation. So it shouldn’t affect my job here, the citizens of Neenah or members of the police department.”
The badge did not give him carte blanche.
It was a seven month long process to get a waiver from basic training.
But his recruiter, who also happens to be the chief’s neighbor, says his credential are outstanding. They include his graduation from the exclusive FBI Academy.
“We got kicked back here and there,” said U.S. Army Recruiter Scott Kuenz. “At the end of the day, it makes the US. Army and Reserves a better place to have a police chief serve again. “
“I always regretted getting out of the military and wanted to put in my 20 years,” admitted Chief Olson.
Now that casual conversation he had with his neighbor had him heading off to training in Fort McCoy.
Olson says he cared most about what his wife thought and is grateful to have the full support of his family.
In Sept. 2019, Olson graduated from the FBI National Academy – a training that is attended by less than 1% of law enforcement leaders worldwide.
Olson was selected as Neenah’s chief in May 2018.