Donald Russell

Lieutenant Colonel Donald G. Russell (Ret.) is deputy commandant of cadets for the Citizen-Leader Track program, also known as VPI Battalion.  

He is a 1990 graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder and received his commission through Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.

He served as a Minuteman II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile combat crew commander before cross-training in 1994 as an aircraft maintenance officer. He held various flight line officer positions in Air Mobility Command units and led air expeditionary deployments to Italy, France, Turkey, Egypt, and Kuwait and to Tanzania after the 1998 terrorist attacks on two U.S. embassies.

Lt Col Russell commanded two squadrons, the 92nd Maintenance Operations Squadron at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, and the 723rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.  He served three years as deputy director of the Air Force Fleet Viability Board leading independent technical assessments of aging aircraft for senior Air Force leadership before his final assignment as deputy commander for the 55th Maintenance Group at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.   

Lt Col Russell led teams supporting KC-135R/T, C-141B, C-5A/B, C-17, HC-130P, HH-60G, RC/OC/WC/TC-135, and E-4B aircraft.  He retired from active duty in 2012 after 22 years of service. 

His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters.  

He received a master's degree in political science from the University of South Dakota in 1994 and a Master of Military Operational Art and Science degree from Air University in 2005.

Lt Col Russell is married to the former Carolyn Schuster of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  They have a daughter, Rachel.