Colonel Folsom was born to a U.S. Navy family in Monterey, California. He earned his commission through the Platoon Leaders Class Program, and he graduated from the University of Virginia in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations.
He is a graduate of the Basic Officer Course, the Infantry Officer Course, the Light Armored Vehicle Leaders Course, the U. S. Army’s Armor Captains Career Course and Cavalry Leaders Course, Naval Postgraduate School, and the Marine Corps War College. He is also a graduate of the Hindi language course at the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute; the United Nations Military Observers Course in New Delhi, India; and the Indian Army’s Counterinsurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Vairengte, India.
His service in the Fleet Marine Force includes: Platoon Commander, Company “A,” 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and Battalion Landing Team 2/1 (January 1996 to December 1997); Commanding Officer, Company “D,” 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and Battalion Landing Team 3/1 (April 2001 to May 2003); G-3 Training Officer and Current Operations Deputy, 1st Marine Division (July 2006 to July 2009); Advisor Team Leader, Military Transition Team 0733 and 3rd Battalion, 28th Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division in Al Qa’im, Iraq (February to August 2008); Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment (March 2011 to June 2012); G-35 Future Operations and Plans Officer, I Marine Expeditionary Force (July 2016 to February 2017); Commander, Task Force Lion (February 2017 to April 2018); G-37 Force Development Officer, I Marine Expeditionary Force (May 2018 to July 2019); and Assistant Chief of Staff G-3, 1st Marine Division (July 2019 to July 2020). He commanded Company “D” in Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003; 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011-12; and Task Force Lion in Iraq for Operation Inherent Resolve in 2017-18.
His service outside the Fleet Marine Force includes: Assistant Logistics Officer, Platoon Commander, Company Executive Officer, and Coordinator of Student Activities at Officer Candidates School (December 1997 to October 2000); South Asia Foreign Area Officer in New Delhi, India (August 2005 to June 2006); International Affairs Officer Program Coordinator at Plans, Policies, and Operations Department, Headquarters Marine Corps (July 2009 to March 2011); and Operations Officer and Deputy Division Chief for the Joint Staff’s Joint Operations Directorate–Central Command Division (June 2013 to June 2016).
Colonel Folsom’s decorations include the Legion of Merit with combat conditions “C” device, the Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing “V” device and two gold stars, and the Combat Action Ribbon. He holds a Master of Arts in National Security Affairs and a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies, and he is the author of three books: The Highway War: A Marine Company Commander in Iraq; In the Gray Area: A Marine Advisor Team at War; and Where Youth and Laughter Go: With “The Cutting Edge" in Afghanistan.