Hailing from Manhattan Beach, CA, LCDR Strand graduated and was commissioned in 2008 from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a minor in Spanish. She also graduated with Distinction earning a Master of Arts in National Security Affairs (Middle East Studies) and with Highest Distinction from the Naval War College’s Command and Staff Program while attending the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA in 2016.
In 2010, LCDR Strand earned her wings of gold from Helicopter Training Squadron TWENTY EIGHT (HT-28) and completed the fleet replacement pilot syllabus at Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron THREE (HSC-3) from 2010-2011.
In 2011, LCDR Strand reported to her fleet squadron flying the MH-60S with the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWENTY ONE (HSC-21) Blackjacks. She deployed from 2011-2012 with the 2515th Naval Air Ambulance Detachment to Camp Buehring, Kuwait in support of OPERATION NEW DAWN and served as a Naval Liaison to the US and Malaysian Armies in Malaysia supporting OPERATION KERIS STRIKE in 2013.
In 2014, LCDR Strand studied at the Naval Postgraduate School where she earned her Master of Arts in National Security and a diploma from the Naval War College’s Command and Staff Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Program.
From 2016-2018, LCDR Strand became the Assistant Officer in Charge and Lead Range Safety Officer for the Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility detachment Southern California Offshore Range (FACSFAC Det SCORE), supporting joint missions and exercises around San Clemente Island, CA.
In 2018, LCDR Strand redesignated from Active Duty to Training and Administration of Reserves (TAR) and joined Training Squadron SIX (VT-6) in Milton, Florida to instruct primary flight training in the T-6B where she served as a Department Head.
From January of 2022 to July of 2023, LCDR Strand served as the Operations Officer at the Navy Reserve Center North Island, departing early after being selected as a Federal Executive Fellow with the Clements Center at University of Texas, Austin where she is currently serving until August of 2024.
LCDR Strand was elected in September of 2023 as the President of the Sea Service Leadership Association (SSLA) after serving as both the Chair and Co-Chair of the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium (JWLS) for SSLA previously from 2022-2023.
Her personal decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal (2), the Navy Achievement Medal, the Louis D. Liskin Award for Excellence in Regional Security Studies, and various unit and service awards. She has flown over 2,000 mishap-free flight hours in Naval aircraft and over 500 hours as a civilian pilot. LCDR Strand is married to Melissa Strand and has two children, Hazel (7) and Felix (6).