Alex Beckstrand

Alex Beckstrand, PhD candidate, Department of HistoryHistory Ph.D. Student, University of Connecticut
Central Connecticut State University
Podcast Host,
New Books in Military History
Infantry and Middle East Regional Affairs Officer,
Delivery Assurance Manager,
Pratt & Whitney


Research Interests: Civil-Military Relations; Grand Strategy; Wilson Era Military and Diplomatic History; Twentieth Century American Foreign Policy; World War I; World War II; National Security Issues; US-Middle East History

Current Student, Ph.D., History, University of Connecticut (Advisor: Frank Costigliola)
MA, International Relations, American University (2019)
BA, History, Virginia Military Institute (2010)

Biography: Born and raised in southern Wisconsin, I attended undergrad at VMI and majored in history. I spent four years on active duty in the Marine Corps as an infantry officer, deploying to Afghanistan from 2012-2013. I left active duty in 2014 and began working for Amazon in fulfillment operations, first in Pennsylvania and then in Connecticut. In 2018, I left Amazon and began working at Pratt & Whitney, an aircraft engine manufacturer, where I work in the Global Supply Chain organization. I graduated in 2019 with an M.A. in International Relations from American University. I continue to serve in the Marine Corps Reserves, deploying to Jordan in 2016. I am currently on active duty as an Exercise Planner with the 25th Marine Regiment in Fort Devens, MA. I have a wonderful wife and two amazing daughters.


  • (Forthcoming) “’All My Patience Seems to Have Gone for Nothing’: Woodrow Wilson as Commander in Chief and the Struggle for Civil-Military Relations during the Punitive Expedition of 1916-1917,” April 2022, Journal of Military History
  • (Forthcoming) Book Review of Heather Venable, How the Few Became the Proud: Crafting the Marine Corps Mystique, 1874-1918, Winter 2021/2022, Marine Corps History
  • (Forthcoming) Book Review of Eberhard Demm, Censorship and Propaganda in World War I: A Comprehensive History, Fall 2021, H-War
  • “Almost Revolutionary: The Debates About Democracy, Citizenship, and Military Policies, 1913-1920,” paper presented at the Society for Military History Conference, May 23, 2021, Norfolk, VA (virtual)
  • “Intervention Aims and the Punitive Expedition: A Look at Explicit and Implicit Goals,” paper presented at the James A. Barnes Club Graduate Student History Conference, March 21, 2020, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA (virtual)
  • “On American Grand Strategy,” The Strategy Bridge, March 10, 2020. Link.
  • “How 1940 provides the way forward for the United States in a treacherous world,” Made By History, Washington Post, December 3, 2019. Link.
  • “The Thing to Do Now: FDR and the Four Pillars of American War Preparations, 1940,” paper presented at the New England Historical Association Fall 2019 conference, October 26, 2019, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI

Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Supplemental Scholarship, Naval History and Heritage Command, 2021
Thomas G. Paterson Graduate Fellowship in the History of U.S. Foreign Relations, University of Connecticut, 2020
George C. Marshall Scholar, George C. Marshall Foundation, 2010
Arabic Study grant, Arabic Language Institute of Fez, located in Fez, Morocco, Summer 2009
History Honors Program, 2009-2010, Virginia Military Institute
Member, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR)
Member, Society for Military History (SMH)
Member, Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (SHGAPE)
Member, American Historical Association
Member, Organization of American Historians
Member, Connecticut World Affairs Council

Employment History:
Central Connecticut State University
– Lecturer, IS-150 Introduction to International Studies, Fall 2021
Pratt & Whitney
– Global Supply Chain, East Hartford, CT, 2020-Present (Military Leave of Absence 2020-2021)
– Government Security Compliance, East Hartford, CT, 2018-2020
United States Marine Corps Reserves
– Student, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, 2020-2022
– Exercise Planner, 25th Marine Regiment, Fort Devens, MA, 2020-2021 (Active Duty)
– Commanding Officer, Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, Milwaukee, WI, 2018-2020
– Second-in-Charge, Security Cooperation Team-Jordan 16.2, Zarqa, Jordan, 2016-2017 (Active Duty)
– Executive Officer, Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 2015-2016
– Operations Manager, Windsor, CT, 2015-2018 (Military Leave of Absence for 2016)
– Operations Manager, Breinigsville, PA, 2014-2015
United States Marine Corps
– Executive Officer, H&S Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2013-2014
– Infantry Platoon Commander, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2010-2013 (Deployment to Afghanistan 2012-2013)