Lieutenant Colonel Sandstrom enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1994 and was commissioned via the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program in 2002. A native of Pueblo, CO, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Mass Communications from the University of New Mexico, a Master of Science in Management from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a Master of Military Operational Art and Science from the Air University.
Enlisting in October 1994, PFC Sandstrom’s initial assignment was with 3d Medical Battalion, Okinawa, Japan, as a Service Record Book Clerk. In June 1996, Lance Corporal Sandstrom transferred to Marine Air Control Group 28, Cherry Point, NC as an Adjutant Clerk. In July 1997 he was selected as the Group’s Marine of the Quarter, and in December 1997 was meritoriously promoted to Corporal. After selection to MECEP in 1999, Sergeant Sandstrom transferred to the University of New Mexico.
Upon commissioning in May 2002, and following The Basic School, Second Lieutenant Sandstrom was assigned as the Adjutant for 2d Battalion, 11th Marines, Camp Pendleton, CA. Following his deployment with the battalion in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in 2005, First Lieutenant Sandstrom was assigned as the 11th Marines Adjutant. In 2006, he transferred to Officer Candidate School, Quantico, VA, where he served as the Training Support Platoon Commander, Coordinator of Student Activities, and Company C Platoon Commander during the Marine Corps’ endstrength increase to 202,000. Selected for the Special Education Program, Captain Sandstrom transferred to attend Naval Postgraduate School in May 2009.
In March 2011, Captain Sandstrom reported to Manpower Plans and Policy Division, Manpower and Reserve Affairs where he served as the Officer Retention Officer, Officer Promotions Officer, Enlisted First Term Force Planner and the Enlisted Endstrength Planner during the endstrength drawdown to 182,000. Major Sandstrom was selected to intermediate-level school and attended Air Command and Staff College, Montgomery, AL in July 2015. Major Sandstrom reported for duty as the III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group Adjutant in July 2016, where he also served as the lead manpower action officer for the Commandant of the Marine Corps directed Future Force 2025 initiative transforming the Headquarters Group to the MEF Information Group. In June 2019, Lieutenant Colonel Sandstrom transferred to Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island for duty as the MCRD/ERR Assistant Chief of Staff, G1. On 18 June 2020, Lieutenant Colonel Sandstrom assumed command of 3d Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD Parris Island.
Lieutenant Colonel Sandstrom’s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with one Gold Star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with one gold star, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with one gold star, and Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with one bronze star. He is married to the former Madalyn Lovato of Bernalillo, NM and has four children, Reagan, Grant, Jackson, and Lincoln; one of whom is his favorite.