Lt. Col. Oliver Karp, a native of New York City, New York graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Maritime Operations and Technology and a US Coast Guard Unlimited Tonnage Deck Officer license. After commissioning and training as a Second Lieutenant in the Transportation Corps, he was assigned as a Transportation Platoon Leader in the 506th Regimental Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. He served in Baghdad as part of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM and later as Deputy G9, 101st Airborne Division in OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. After redeploying, Karp was assigned to the Engineer Captains Career Course in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and the Civil Affairs Qualification Course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
After branch qualification, Karp was assigned to the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion where he served as a Civil Affairs Team Leader in Jordan and Lebanon, and as a Civil Military Operations Chief in Yemen between. After attending graduate school at the National Defense University College of International Security Studies, Karp assumed command of Bravo Company, 97th Civil Affairs Battalion, training Special Operations Forces in Korea, serving as the rotational Civil Affairs Officer for 1/1 Special Forces Group, Okinawa, and providing oversight of seven Civil Affairs Teams deployed across Pacific Command from 2016-2018.
After Civil Affairs Company Command, Lieutenant Colonel Karp served in Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) as the J39 Civil Affairs Branch Chief, deploying as commander of SOC-FWD Jordan in 2018. He later served as Deputy to the Special Operations Task Force 5 Commander in Beirut Lebanon in 2019, and as the deputy Commander’s Action Group Director for COMSOCCENT in Tampa, Florida in 2022.
Karp recently completed a two-year overseas tour as the Assistant Chief of Staff G9, Civil Affairs Director, for the Second Infantry, Combined US-ROK Division at Camp Humpreys, Republic of Korea.