Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Cmdr. Alaniz attended the United States Naval Academy, where he was commissioned in 1994. Prior to reporting to the Naval War College in 2017, he served on various ships, primarily based in Yokosuka, Japan, most recently on USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) as member of the staff for Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet. Ashore he has served as Operations Branch Chief for Ballistic Missile Defense at U.S. Strategic Command and as Commanding Officer of Naval Recruiting District, Dallas.