Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) welcomes Col. Joe “Mort” Mortensen, USMC (retired) to its board of directors. Mortensen is a graduate of LSM’s Executive Program, Class of 2016 and will serve on the programs committee for the organization.
Mortensen, a native of Albion, Nebraska, enjoyed a 29-year Marine Corps career retiring in May 2009. He served in a wide variety of leadership positions that included commander, Naval Test Wing Atlantic; commanding officer and chief test pilot, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23; and staff assignments at the battalion, squadron, group, marine expeditionary force, and joint task force levels. His 27 years of aviation experience as a naval aviator included twelve years in aircraft and weapon system development, test, and evaluation as a test pilot. Operationally, he flew F-4s and F/A-18s throughout the world and from aircraft carriers—logging over 3,700 hours in 70 different aircraft. Mortensen flew missions in support of Operation Southern Watch from the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and was the chief of plans and assessment (J5), Joint Task Force 536 where he defined and planned United States political-military transition strategy during Southeast Asia tsunami relief in support of Operation Unified Assistance.
After his Marine Corps career, Mortensen joined United States Federal Civil Service as a general engineer and served for two years as the director, Test and Evaluation for the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Florida. Mortensen transferred to Patuxent River, Maryland and joined Naval Air Systems Command where he served as the chief-of-staff, Test & Evaluation Group and director, Test and Evaluation Staff Office. In 2019, he was reassigned as director, Research, Development, Test, & Evaluation Strategy and Management. Concurrently from 2014 to 2020, he served as co-chairman of the NATO Science and Technology Organization Flight Test Technical Team. Mortensen retired from federal service in July 2020.
Mortensen received an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Master of Science degree in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School, completed a fellowship with the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, and was a member of Leadership Southern Maryland Class of 2016. Mortensen is an associate fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, member of the Marine Corps Aviation Association, and is an Eagle Scout.
In addition to serving on the LSM board, Mortensen also holds a position on the executive board of directors for National Capital Area Council, Boy Scouts of America as one of their district chairmen.