Alex Beckstrand

Alex Beckstrand



Twitter: @AlexBeckstrand


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


Advisor:  Frank Costigliola



Current Student, Ph.D., History, University of Connecticut

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 studied history with a focus on American military history and contemporary security issues.  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 moving to Connecticut.  I continue to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve, and I deployed to Jordan in 2016.  I am currently an infantry Company Commander in Milwaukee, WI.  In early 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 a M.A. in International Relations from American University.  I have a beautiful wife and two wonderful daughters.



“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

MA Thesis, “Do Something, and Do It Today: US War Preparations, 1940”

BA Thesis, “’His Control is Absolute’: Woodrow Wilson, Newton D. Baker, John J. Pershing, and the Conduct of Civil-Military Relations, 1916-1919”.  Recipient of the George C. Marshall Scholar Prize, 2010.



George C. Marshall Scholar, George C. Marshall Foundation, 2010

Arabic Study grant, Arabic Language Institute of Fez, located in Fez, Morocco, May-June 2009

History Honors Program, 2009-2010, Virginia Military Institute

Member, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR)

Member, Society for Military History

Member, American Historical Association

Member, Connecticut World Affairs Council


Work History:

Global Supply Chain, Pratt and Whitney, East Hartford, CT, 2020-Present

Government Security Compliance, Pratt and Whitney, East Hartford, CT, 2018-2020

Infantry Officer, United States Marine Corps Reserves, Milwaukee, WI, 2017-Present

Second-in-Charge, United States Marine Corps, Security Cooperation Team, Zarqa, Jordan, 2016-2017

Area Manager,, Breinigsville, PA and Windsor, CT, 2014-2018

Infantry Platoon Commander, United States Marine Corps, Helmand, Afghanistan, 2012-2013

Infantry Officer, United States Marine Corps, Camp Lejeune, NC, 2010-2014