Lieutenant Colonel Karst K. Brandsma was commissioned into the Military Police Corps on 8 May 1998 and has served in the United States Army in leadership positions at all eschelons of the Military Police Corps and at the Department of the Army and Joint Staff levels. Origianally from Gig Harbor, WA, he has been assigned to positions of increasing responsibility around the world in both the operational and institutional Army. He is currently the Commander, 720th Military Police Battalion and Installation Provost Marshal at Fort Hood, Texas.
Lieutenant Colonel Brandsma’s prior assignments include Platoon Leader, 527th MP Company, Giessen, Germany; Assistant S3, 709th MP Battalion, Hanau, Germany; S1, 519th MP Battalion, Fort Polk, LA; Commander, 258th Military Police Company, Fort Polk, LA; Congressional Affairs and Internal Review Officer, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO); Strategic Planner, Army Initiatives Group, Army G-3/5/7, Pentagon; Assistant Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7; Executive Officer, 42d MP Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA, and Deputy Brigade Commander, 89th MP Brigade, Fort Hood, TX.
Throughout his carreer, he has deployed multiple times: conducting peacekeeping operations in support of Operation Joint Forge, Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Task Force Falcon, KFOR2B, Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo; in direct combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom, OIF 1 and again during OIF 05-07 to Baghdad, Iraq as the Commander, 258th MP CO; most recently he deployed to conduct theater-level Detention Operations, Task Force Protector, Bagram, Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Colonel Brandsma’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Meritorious Service Medal (2 OLC), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (1 OLC), Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (Bronze Star), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary and Service Medals, Humanitarian Service Medal (Bronze Star), Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal (3rd Award), Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, the Joint Staff Badge, the Army Staff Badge, the German Armed Forces Efficiency Badge (Gold), and other campaign medals and military service ribbons. He was awarded the Military Police Order of the Marchaussee in October 2014 and is a member of the Military Police Regimental Association.
Lieutenant Colonel Brandsma attended Gonzaga University, graduating as a Distinguished Military Graduate in May 1998. He received a Masters Degree in Business and Organizational Security Management from Webster University in December 2002, a Masters Degree in Public Policy Administration from Georgetown University in December 2007, and a Masters of Military Arts and Science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in May 2014. In December 2006 he was accepted for an internship to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Office of the Secretary of Defense, during which he earned an additional skill identifier of 6Z, Army Strategist. His military education includes the U.S. Army Airborne School, Military Police Officer Basic Course (Distinguished Honor Graduate), V Corps NBC Defense School (Honor Graduate), Military Police Captain’s Career Course (Commandant’s List), the Command and General Staff College and School for Advanced Military Studies (SAMS).