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CDR Tony Russell
U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Professional Maritime Studies
15 Mohegan Avenue
New London, CT 06320
(860) 444-8495
CDR Anthony “Tony” Russell
Professional Maritime Studies
U.S. Coast Guard Academy

CDR Tony Russell (CGA ‘96) is a career “cutterman” who has served on five ships in command and leadership positions conducting operations in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Bering Sea. He has conducted numerous interagency and multi-national law enforcement operations and international engagements with more than a dozen nations.  

Between operational assignments, Tony is a strategic planner with particular specialty in public affairs and incident communication. These assignments include functioning as Press Secretary for the Commandant of the Coast Guard and National Incident Commander for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response, Communication Advisor to the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, Public Affairs Officer for the Seventh Coast Guard District, and Public Affairs Officer to Coast Guard Forces Southwest Asia for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. 

Three times Tony has been selected for Coast Guard fellowships and advanced education programs. In 2002, he graduated from Florida International University with a master’s in Mass Communication. In 2008, he received a master’s in Military Studies from the Marine Corps University. He was the 2013/14 Coast Guard Executive Fellow to the RAND Corporation where he co-authored a study on response capabilities to a domestic maritime mining event and published several expert commentaries in national media outlets on maritime safety and security issues. Most recently, he served in Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of Net Assessment, where he advised the Director of ONA and other senior defense officials on the future security environment and key areas of strategic competition. While at the Pentagon, he earned his master’s in History from George Mason University specializing in the U.S. national security and foreign policy decision-making in the mid-to-late 20th Century. 

Tony is currently the Chief, Professional Maritime Studies Branch, where he oversees a four-year Navigation and Nautical Science curriculum delivered by the branch culminating with the issuance of a 100-Ton Merchant Mariner Master’s license at graduation for those cadets that meet all Coast Guard requirements.  

Tony and his wife Traci, formerly of Catonsville, Maryland, live in Old Lyme, Connecticut, with their three sons Alec (15), Aidan (13), Cameron (8) and dog, Bella. They are looking forward to starting a brood of chickens in the spring, and in the fall you can always get a good conversation going about the Pittsburgh Steelers.