Commander Rachel J. Velasco-Lind earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology from Northern Arizona University in 1994, and was commissioned an Ensign through Officer Candidate School in January 1996.
After completing Surface Warfare Officer School Division Officer Course in Newport, Rhode Island, she reported to USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC-19), Flagship for Commander, SEVENTH FLEET, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, where she served as First Division Officer and Navigator from 1996-1998. In December 1998 she reported to USS KINKAID (DD-965) where she served as the Combat Information Center Officer and Navigator, and earned her Tactical Action Officer qualification.
In June 2000, she reported to Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where she earned a Master of Science Degree in Information Systems and Operations. While at Naval Postgraduate School she was selected for lateral transfer and redesignation as a Special Duty Officer (Cryptology), now Information Warfare.
Following Naval Cryptologic Officer Basic Course in Pensacola, Florida, she reported to U. S. Naval Security Group Activity Yokosuka, Japan, as a Direct Support Officer in July 2002. She assumed duties as the N9 Mission Technologies Department Head to include the Signals Analysis Laboratory, Network Operations Center, Command Training, Cryptologic Resource Group and Bilateral Programs Chairman. She also served as the Executive Officer during a billet gap.
In November of 2005 she arrived at Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Maryland where she was selected as the Navy Fellow for the National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) Director’s Fellowship Program and served on the Director’s Staff. Toward the end of her Fellowship, she was selected to deploy as a Forward Deployed Officer-in-Charge in a Counterterrorism Intelligence Fusion Cell in support of sensitive operations in the CENTCOM Area of Operations (AOR). Upon her return from deployment she assumed duties as the Subject Matter Expert for Counterterrorism encompassing three diverse AORs for the NSA/CSS. While at Fort Meade, she also served as a NIOC Maryland Department Head for two departments.
She served on the Chief of Naval Operations Staff in N2N6’s Concepts, Strategies and Integration Division before being selected as the Executive Officer (XO) for NIOC Maryland/CTF 1060. During her tour as XO she was selected for Command.
Her personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.