Rachel Armstrong, PhD, MBA, RN

HomeFellows & AlumniFellow BiographiesRachel Armstrong, PhD, MBA, RN

  • 2013 Fellow
    Rachel Armstrong

Director, DoD/VA Partnerships

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Vienna, VA


Colonel Rachel Armstrong is currently the Director, DoD/VA Partnerships at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She began her military career by receiving a Direct Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in 1986. She held a variety of challenging nursing leadership positions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Patterson Army Community Hospital, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, and Brooke Army Medical Center. During Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, she served with the 46th Combat Support Hospital in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. From 1999 to 2001, she served as the Officer Basic Course Nurse Advisor at the Army Medical Department Center and School. After completing her doctoral studies in 2004, she was assigned to the Department of Nursing Research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and later held the position of Deputy Chief of Nursing Research. During the First Session of the 110th Congress, she was assigned as the Military Nurse Fellow to Senator Daniel K. Inouye. From 2008 to 2010, Colonel Armstrong served on the Army Staff as the Nurse Staff Officer to The Surgeon General. In 2010, she was selected as Commander of the 9th Area Medical Laboratory, and deployed her unit to Japan after the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear disaster in support of Operation Tomodachi. From 2012 to 2014, she served as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Clinical Operations and the Regional Nurse Executive for the Northern Regional Medical Command in the U.S. Army. Rachel earned her Ph.D. at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She completed 3 master’s degrees, a Master of Science in Nursing with honors in 1997, and a Master of Business Administration in 1999, both from The University of the Incarnate Word, and a Master of Strategic Studies after graduating from the U.S. Army War College in 2007. She attended The Ohio State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1985. She received numerous military awards and decorations, to include the Legion of Merit, the Army Staff Badge, the Order of Military Medical Merit, and the 9A Proficiency Designator from The Surgeon General. Colonel Armstrong is a certified Nurse Executive through the American Nurse Credentialing Center and is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honors Society. She is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. She is married to Colonel (Retired) Brett Armstrong, U.S. Army and together they have two wonderful daughters, Sarah and Anna. Sarah is a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and Anna is a student at Texas A&M University.