Rand was a young freedom fighter during the Invid Invasion. Not much is known about his personal history beyond the fact that he is a self-taught survivor and a skilled wanderer and scavenger. Rand was the first to join Scott Bernard after meeting him on Earth, inevitably helping Bernard gather a small resistance group. Under Scott Bernard's guidance, Rand becomes an excellent fighter.
Behind the scenes
On-screen, Rand's full name was never given, leaving some to speculate upon it.
In Robotech: The Roleplaying Game from Palladium Books, Rand is given the full name of Randolf O'Keefe. This is the only source to cite this as the character's full name. In the novels by Jack McKinney, Rand's daughter is identified in chapter headings as Maria Bartley-Rand, implying that Rand is a family name.
From a real-world-perspective, the name 'Rand' most likely comes from the name of the character in the pilot, where he calls himself 'Randy Barr.'