Dana is the daughter of Max and Miriya Sterling, two of the heroes of the First Robotech War. This heritage has deeply affected Dana for several reasons. First, she is the first child of a highly publicized union between human and Zentraedi. The fear and hatred of Zentraedi, even half-human half-Zentraedi, has followed her all her life. Second, Dana lives in the heroic shadows of her parents, both Veritech Fighter aces, and heroes loved throughout the world. She feels she must prove that she is as capable a fighter and pilot as both of her parents. Lastly, Dana is alone. Max and Miriya and left Earth nearly a decade ago with Rick Hunter and the SDF-3, leaving Dana in the capable hands of her godfather, General Rolf Emerson. She thinks of her parents often and longs for their return.
Dana Sterling is among the first graduates of the Robotech Military Academy, ranking highly in her class as Veritech Hover Tank pilot. She possesses a genuine innocence and a curious mind, ever observant and inquisitive. Dana is an athletic, self reliant, warrior with an outstanding sense of timing and intuition. She is a fine leader, who is always ready to back up her words with action.