A native of Phoenix, Arizona, LCDR Brad Lester graduated from the University of Iowa in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and minor in religion. He holds a Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental Health from the University of Iowa and a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Health from Colorado State University. He received his commission as a lieutenant Medical Service Corps Officer (industrial hygiene specialty) through the Health Services Collegiate Program (HSCP) in 2007.
LCDR Lester received his initial industrial hygiene training at Navy Medical Center San Diego from 2008 to 2010. In 2009, LCDR Lester deployed to Iraq with the U.S. Army 364th Civil Affairs Brigade in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. At sea Lester served on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), completing two deployments to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDON and Operation NEW DAWN. Lester earned his Officer of the Deck (Underway) and Surface Warfare Medical Department Officer qualifications while assigned.
In 2012, Lester was assigned to U.S. Naval Hospital Rota, Spain as department head, industrial hygiene and legal officer. In 2014, Lester was assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) as director, technical cell and science advisor. While with CBIRF, Lester earned his Fleet Marine Force Warfare Officer qualification.
Lester began serving as the Director of Homeland Defense, Headquarters Marine Corps, Health Services on November 30, 2017.
Lester’s personal awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Army Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), and various other service and units awards.