After completing graduate studies in biochemistry at the University of Maryland at Baltimore, CAPT Arfsten received a direct commission into the US Navy as a Lieutenant in December 2000 and was assigned as a biochemist in the Medical Service Corps.
From February 2001-July 2005, CAPT Arfsten served as Department Head, Naval Health Research Center Detachment, Wight Patterson AFB, Ohio and engaged in Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Environmental (CBRNE) Defense research. From July 2005-November 2009, CAPT Arfsten served as Department Head of Military Drug Testing Navy Drug Screening Laboratory (NDSL), Jacksonville, Florida. He was fleeted up to Executive Officer of the Drug Lab in July 2006 and served in that capacity until the end of his tour in November 2009. From November 2009-November 2010, CAPT Arfsten served as an Embedded Training Team member, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) and provided medical training to the Afghanistan National Police (ANP) and additionally served as the NTM-A Command Surgeon action officer to the J-5 for HSS/medical issues.
From January 2011 to June 2013, CAPT Arfsten served as Health Service Support Operations Officer for 3d Marine Logistics Group, G-3, Okinawa, Japan, and planned and coordinated HSS for multi-national exercises and global health engagements in the SE Asia region. CAPT Arfsten was promoted to Commander in August of 2012. From August 2013 to May 2016, CAPT Arfsten served as Commanding Officer, Navy Drug Screening Laboratory Jacksonville, Florida and simultaneously served as Officer in Charge (acting), Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE), Jacksonville, Florida, from May to October 2015.
From June 2016-August 2018, CAPT Arfsten served as the Executive Officer, Field Medical Training Battalion-East (FMTB-E), USMC Training Command, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. CAPT Arfsten was promoted to Captain in September 2018.
From September 2018-July 2020, CAPT Arfsten served as Force Deputy Surgeon of the Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES), providing medical leadership and oversight to 2,200 Active Duty and Reserve Navy personnel assigned to MARFORRES. CAPT Arfsten also served as the Fleet Marine Force Warfare Officer Qualification Program Director for the MARFORRES.
CAPT Arfsten has received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4th award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4th award) and other personal decorations.