Retired Rear Adm. Sandra Adams served as a Navy officer for 34 years. Originally from Michigan, she has lived in Southern California for over 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts from the Naval War College.
After getting her commission through Officer Candidate School in 1981 and completing Surface Warfare school, she was assigned to USS Puget Sound (AD 38) based in Italy as 6th Fleet flagship. She transitioned to the Naval Reserve at Long Beach Naval Station in units including Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 105. The unit was recalled to active duty and deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
She served as the commanding officer of five units including the USS Bolster (ARS 38) reserve unit, Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 203 and reserve headquarters for Naval Forces Japan, and U.S. Pacific Command.
In 2010, she mobilized to Afghanistan where she served as the senior advisor to an Afghan Minister of Defense Lieutenant General and his staff.
Her first flag officer assignment was as deputy commander, Navy Region Midwest.
She then served in her final assignment as the deputy commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command which is responsible for 19,000 active and reserve Sailors including Seabees and Coastal Warfare professionals.
Her personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal (three awards).
In her civilian career Adams has held various leadership positions of increasing responsibility in manufacturing and supply chain for major companies.