Maj. Gen. John H. Folkerts is the Vice Commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla. The command is a major command of the U.S. Air Force and the Air Force component of U.S. Special Operations Command. AFSOC provides Air Force Special Operations Forces and Combat Search and Rescue for worldwide deployment and assignment to unified combatant commanders. The command has approximately 20,000 active-duty, Reserve, Air National Guard and civilian professionals.
General Folkerts graduated from Washburn University in 1974 and was commissioned through the ROTC program. He is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flight hours. His staff assignments include serving as an air staff action officer and in a joint, special duty assignment with the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has commanded a flying squadron, an operations group and the 58th Special Operations Wing. The general has also commanded the only Air Force Combat Search and Rescue Wing, the 347th RQW. He served as U.S. Central Command's representative to the Pakistani military during Operation Enduring Freedom.
1974 Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, Washburn University, Topeka, Kan.
1978 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1980 Master of Science degree in education, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
1985 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
1986 National Defense University, by seminar
1989 Air War College, by seminar
1992 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1995 Seminar XXI Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1998 National Security Management Course, Syracuse University, N.Y.
1. November 1974 - September 1975, pilot training, Fort Rucker, Ala.
2. September 1975 - February 1976, student, HH-53 initial pilot qualification, 1550th Combat Crew Training Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah
3. March 1976 - January 1980, pilot, instructor and flight examiner, 33rd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan
4. January 1980 - September 1980, standardization and evaluation flight examiner, 55th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fla.
5. September 1980 - October 1982, instructor pilot and chief of plans, 20th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
6. November 1982 - March 1983, plans officer, 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
7. March 1983 - November 1983, plans staff officer, 2nd Air Division, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
8. November 1983 - February 1985, air operations staff officer, Special Operations Division, Directorate of Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
9. March 1985 - April 1986, plans and programs officer, Airlift Forces Division, Directorate of Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
10. April 1986 - October 1988, plans and programs officer, Strategy Division, Directorate of Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
11. October 1988 - June 1990, operations officer, 1551st Flying Training Squadron, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
12. June 1990 - July 1991, Commander, 1551st Flying Training Squadron, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
13. July 1991 - July 1992, Senior Research Fellow, National War College, Fort Lesley J. NcNair, Washington, D.C.
14. July 1992 - August 1994, military assistant to the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.
15. September 1994 - May 1995, military assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.
16. May 1995 - July 1996, Deputy Commander, 353rd Special Operations Group, Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan
17. July 1996 - February 1997, Commander, 58th Operations Group, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
18. February 1997 - July 1999, Commander, 58th Special Operations Wing, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
19. July 1999 - August 2001, Principal Director for Combating Terrorism Policy and Support, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, Washington, D.C.
20. August 2001 - April 2003, Commander, 347th Rescue Wing, Moody AFB, Ga.
21. April 2003 - present, Vice Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,000
Aircraft flown: CH-53A, HH-53B/C/H, HH-60G, MH-53J, MH-60G, HC-130P/N and MC-130H
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with V device and four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
Combat Readiness Medal
National Defense Service Medal with bronze star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Nov. 7, 1974
First Lieutenant Nov. 7, 1976
Captain Nov. 7, 1978
Major May 1, 1985
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 1990
Colonel Feb. 1, 1994
Brigadier General Aug. 1, 2000
Major General Sept. 1, 2004