Colonel Jesse Marsalis
Colonel Jesse R. Marsalis is a native of Natchitoches, LA, enlisted in the Army as a Combat Engineer in September 1990, attended the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School (OCS) and was commissioned in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1999, and entered the Army’s Acquisition Corps in 2009.
COL Marsalis has more than thirty-two years’ experience in acquisition, combat, and operational assignments including, most recently: Program Executive Officer, Special Operations Forces Support Activities, USSOCOM; Executive Officer to the Director of Supply, Production, and Distribution for the U.S. Government's operation to provide the Nation with COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics (Operation Warp Speed); Program Manager Special Programs, PEO Special Operations Warrior, USSOCOM; Legislative Liaison at the Office of the Chief, Legislative Liaison; Defense Fellow to Senator Susan M. Collins (R-ME); Chief Program Integrator for the Combat Development Directorate, United States Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, NC; Assistant Program Manager for Fire Support at the Program Manager Special Programs, PEO Special Operations Warrior, USSOCOM, Fort Belvoir, VA; Commander, Alpha Company (Combat Engineer), 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, KY (Operation Iraqi Freedom); Brigade Engineer, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)(Operation Iraqi Freedom), Fort Campbell, KY; Battalion Adjutant, 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)(Operation Iraqi Freedom), Fort Campbell, KY; Platoon Leader, 82nd Combat Support Equipment, 44th Engineer Battalion, Camp Edwards, Korea; Numerous positions as a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) and enlisted such as Squad Leader, Battalion Reconnaissance NCO, Team Leader, and Demolition Specialist, 8th Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX (Operations Safe Haven, Intrinsic Action, Desert Strike, Southern Watch, and Iris Gold); and 90 mm Gunner and Demo Specialist, Bravo Company, 2nd Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Giant, Korea (Team Spirit 1991).
COL Marsalis holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Southern Mississippi, a master’s degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri, a Master of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University – Owen Graduate School of Management, a master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, and a master’s degree in National Resource Strategy from the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.
COL Marsalis’ awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, eight awards of the Army Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Ranger Tab, Army Staff Identification Badge, and the Bronze de Fleury Medal.
COL Marsalis is married to Cherilynne Whitney Marsalis (nee Smith) and they have eight children: Jonathan (21), Elise (20), Riley (18), Mitchell (15), Lillian (12), Benjamin (10), Asher (8), and Nora Jane (5).