Rear Adm. Russell Allen is a Southern Illinois native and began his military career in 1978 when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Program. He graduated from the University of Texas in 1984 and was designated a naval aviator in 1986.
As a flag officer, he has served as commander, Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, and commander, Task Force 77 in San Diego; deputy commander, United States Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan and most recently as deputy commander, U.S. Third Fleet in San Diego. He is currently the reserve director for warfare systems (OPNAV N9R) in the Pentagon.
Allen’s operational tours spanned both coasts, first as a CH-46 pilot with the “Dragonwhales” of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 8 (HC-8) at Naval Air Station Norfolk and next as an instructor pilot at HC-3 in San Diego. Transitioning to the Navy Reserve in 1992, Allen served with the “Firehawks”of Helicopter Combat Support Special Squadron (HCS) 5 in Point Mugu, California, flying the HH-60H as a combat search and rescue and special operations mission commander. He assumed duties as commanding officer in June 2004 until October 2005 and led the squadron’s second major deployment to Iraq in support of joint special operations.
Follow-on Navy Reserve command tours include Strike Force Training, Pacific and 3rd Fleet Joint Force Maritime Component Commander (JFMCC) and Navy Region Southwest Reserve Component Command as deputy commander.
Allen’s military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Battle “E.”