This study investigates the influence of strain state distribution on the accuracy of embedded optical fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) used as strain sensors. An optical fiber embedded parallel to adjacent structural fibers in a graphite epoxy quasi-isotropic [(90/+/- 45/0)(S)](3) lay-up is evaluated with mechanical loading parallel to the fiber optic direction. Finite element analysis (FEA) is used to evaluate the fiber optic sensors' responses both in the far field and near field regions of the mechanical grips. Comparison between experimental fiber optic strains, strain gauges, and FEA provides good correlation in the far field with differences of less than 1%. However, in the near field region, some discrepancies are found and attributed to birefringence arising from complex strain states.