A Northern California native, Commander Wandell was commissioned through the NROTC program at the University of California Los Angeles where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History in June 2004. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 2006.
Commander Wandell’s operational assignments include tours with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 as a junior officer, Carrier Air Wing 9 as the helicopter operations officer, and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 as a department head. He has completed multiple deployments aboard various ships to include the USS PrebeL (DDG 88), USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). He has accumulated over 2,400 flight hours in various Naval aircraft. Commander Wandell is currently serving as the Commanding Officer of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 based out of NAS North Island.
Ashore, he served at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center’s Rotary Wing Weapons School as the training officer and subject matter expert on Link 16 and weapons employment. For graduate education, Commander Wandell attended the United States Naval War College where he graduated with a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.
He was the 2016 HSM Wing Pacific Officer of the Year. His personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and other campaign and unit awards.