Lieutenant Colonel Donald G. Russell, USAF (Ret.), is Deputy Commandant of Cadets for the VPI Citizen-Leader Track.
He is a 1990 graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder and received his commission through Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.
He first 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, Kuwait, and to Tanzania following the 1998 terrorist attacks on two U.S. Embassies. Lt Col Russell commanded two squadrons, the 92nd Maintenance Operations Squadron at Fairchild AFB, WA, and the 723rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Moody AFB, GA. He served 3 years as Deputy Director of the Air Force Fleet Viability Board leading independent technical assessments of aging aircraft for senior USAF leadership, prior to his final assignment as Deputy Commander for the 55th Maintenance Group at Offutt AFB, NE.
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 August 2012 following 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 Masters 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, PA. They have one daughter, Rachel.
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