Rear Adm. Sandy Daniels graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1980 and was designated as a naval aviator in January 1982. Her aviation assignments included Oceanographic Research Squadron (VXN) 8 where she flew specially configured research P-3 Orion's worldwide and the Naval Research Laboratory where she flew research missions. While there, she was also the military liaison to the Space Science Division earning her space operations subspecialty designation. She was subsequently assigned to the Naval Space Surveillance Center in Dahlgren, Virginia. In October 1991, she transitioned to the Reserve component with over 2,000 flight hours.
Daniels held numerous billets in the Navy Reserve Space Program, including units supporting the National Reconnaissance Office, Naval Space Command, OPNAV N6, and United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). She served as director, Navy Space & Network Warfare Program from October 2005 to September 2007, and was selected for flag rank.
Her first flag assignment was as the Reserve assistant, Communication Networks on the Chief of Naval Operations’ staff (N6R). She later served as director, Warfare Integration on the Chief of Naval Operations’ staff (N6F), deputy commander of USSTRATCOM’s Joint Functional Component Command for Space, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, senior advisor for Space to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (OPNAV N2/N6) and reserve deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Science, Technology and Public Policy (Space Policy emphasis) from George Washington University.
Daniels reported to Patrol and Reconnaissance Group/Patrol and Reconnaissance Group Pacific, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, in February 2015.