Rear Adm. Christina Alvarado is a registered nurse and graduate of the Alexandria Hospital School of Nursing, Alexandria, Virginia, Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, New York, and holds a Master of Health Care Administration from the University of North Carolina, School of Public Health. She has worked in the clinical areas of orthopedics, neurosurgery and intensive care. Alvarado became certified in critical care nursing in 1983, and held civilian professional nurse positions at United Hospital, Portchester, New York, Alexandria Hospital and Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. She was the first nurse to command Naval Reserve (NR) Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) Dallas 1, a commissioned unit whose mission is expeditionary medicine. She led the transformation of the unit and stood up the first Reserve EMF in 2011.
Alvarado began her Navy Reserve career as a direct commissioned officer and attended school at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, She was called to active duty from 1990 to 1991 in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and served in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland. In January 2002, she was again called to active duty in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom. She has held a variety of leadership positions including officer in charge, executive officer, administrative officer and training officer. She served as the executive officer, Operational Health Support Unit Jacksonville, Florida, from 2008 to 2010, and commanding officer of EMF Dallas 1 from 2010 to 2012.
Her military awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), Meritorious Unit Commendation (two awards), the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with "M" device and the National Defense Medal (two). She was also named Columbia University School of Nursing 2011 Distinguished Alumni and is a 2- time World Champion equestrian.
Her first flag officer assignment is deputy commander, Navy Medicine East and deputy director, Nurse Corps.