Colonel Koelsch graduated in 1989 from the College of William and Mary in Virginia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. He was commissioned through ROTC as an Armor Officer and was a tank platoon leader in Desert Storm in the 1st Cavalry Division.
After promotion to Captain in 1993, Colonel Koelsch was assigned to the 1st Armored Division in Baumholder, Germany. He deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Vigilant Warrior, commanded a tank company on the initial deployment of U.S. forces to Bosnia in 1996, and commanded the Headquarters Company of 1-35 Armor.
As a Major, he was the Executive Officer of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Combat Developments for the creation of the Army's first fully digital Division at Fort Hood, Texas. Upon assignment to Fort Sam Houston, he was an operations officer for Military Support to Civil Authorities until his career transition to Information Systems. He earned a master's degree in Information Systems from Webster University in 2001.
Colonel Koelsch provided data system and communications support to the New York City Emergency Operations Center on 9/11/2001 and to NASA for the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery in 2003. He then served in the Defense Intelligence Agency as a targeting and collection management systems officer, and deployed to Iraq as the Chief of Intelligence Systems for U.S. Army Central Command in 2006.
In 2007, Colonel Koelsch was assigned as the Technical Director for the Army Operations Center in the Pentagon, and graduated from the U.S. Army War College in 2013. Upon completion of his Master of Arts degree in Strategic Studies, he was assigned to Defense Media Activity as the Director of Defense Visual Information, the DMA Component responsible for maintaining the worldwide flow of DoD imagery from photographers and videographers to the National Archives. In 2016, he moved to DMA headquarters as the Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer.
Colonel Bernard Koelsch currently serves as the Director of the Defense Media Activity at Fort Meade, Maryland.