Lt. Gen. Christianson, a Distinguished Military Graduate of the Army ROTC program at North Dakota State University, was commissioned as an Ordnance Officer in 1971.
From 1971-1974, Lt. Gen. Christianson was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. In 1974 he was assigned to Thailand for two years where he served as the Chief of Shop Operations with the United States Army Support Group in Samae San, and later as a Customs Officer with the JUSMAG-THAI in Bangkok. From 1977 to 1979, he was assigned to the 9th Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Washington, as the Commander of a Forward Support Maintenance Company in the 709th.
From 1979 to 1982, Lt. Gen. Christianson was an Assistant Professor of Military Science at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. He served as the Army Guard Maintenance Programs and Policy Officer with the National Guard Bureau, Washington, D.C. from 1983 to 1986. He was then assigned to the Southern European Task Force in Vicenza, Italy where he served as the Director of Logistics for the 22nd Area Support Group for three years. Lt. Gen. Christianson commanded the 725th Main Support Battalion, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, from 1989 to 1991. In 1992, after completion of the Army War College, he returned to Hawaii as the Assistant Chief of Staff G4, 25th Infantry Division (Light).
In 1993, Lt. Gen. Christianson was assigned as the Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) at the American Embassy, Rome, Italy. From 1995 to 1997, he commanded the 3rd, and later, the 1st Infantry Division Support Commands in Kitzingen, Germany. After command, he was assigned as the G4, Headquarters, U.S. V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany. After his selection to Brigadier General, Lt. Gen. Christianson served as the Deputy Commanding General for the 21st Theater Support Command in Kaiserslautern, Germany. From 2000 to 2002, he served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, C4/J4/G4 United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/United States Forces Korea/Deputy Commanding General (Support), Eight United States Army, Republic of Korea.
From August 2002 to July 2003, Lt. Gen. Christianson was the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Headquarters, Department of the Army with duty as Chief, Logistics, Coalition Forces Land Component Command, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Prior to arriving to the Joint Staff, he served for two years as the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Headquarters, Department of the Army.
During this time Christianson's vision made sustainment transformation happen for the Army and greatly contributed to our successes in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
His last position was the Director for Logistics, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C. which he assumed his duties on 11 October 2005. Lieutenant General Christianson retired on 1 June 2008 after over 37 years of outstanding and dedicated military service. He led the way in logistics transformation that continues to this day. He continues to serve the nation as the Senior Director of the Center for Joint and Strategic Logistics at the National Defense University.