Russell spent 20 years in the British Army, serving in the Parachute Regiment. He has served in numerous theatres including Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. However, it was Afghanistan that proved to be his crucible leadership experience. As a Company Commander with responsibility for over 200 men, he was awarded the Military Cross for his leadership and gallantry under fire. His detailed account of his Company's tour was published under the title 'Company Commander' and is now mandated reading for all aspirant US Naval Officers.
Russell has also worked in defence procurement where he gained significant experience of the defence manufacturing sector. He finished as an instructor at the staff college. He rewrote and was the lead deliverer for the Army's tactical decision making process and was also responsible for introducing a coaching culture to both his fellow instructors and to the students.
He left the Army in 2013 and now works as a training and security consultant, whilst continuing to write. He has worked with Greater Manchester Police Force, Plexus Risk Consultancy, Mission Performance, Help for Heroes and the US Naval Academy. He is also a specialist Defence commentator for Sky News.