USNA ’86

I was born in Germany in 1964, where my parents adopted both me and my identical twin sister. I was always raised with a profound sense of gratitude that I was afforded all the opportunities that being an American Citizen gave me; and that manifested in a desire to give something back by going in the military myself.

After graduating from High School in California in 1982, I went on to the USNA and graduated in 1986. After graduation, I went on to serve as a Supply Officer aboard the USS SAMUEL GOMPERS (AD 37) home ported in Alameda, California. I served in a variety of roles on the ship, and made one WESTPAC deployment. From there, I got orders to “Operation Deepfreeze,” the US Antarctic Program based in Christchurch, New Zealand, as the Supply and Fiscal officer for the Christchurch operation. That was an amazing job, and it was in New Zealand, an amazing place.

 Nan Russel '86 & her partner Susan

Nan Russel '86 & her partner Susan

 Nan with Saints & Martyrs after 40km of a 100km walk

Nan with Saints & Martyrs after 40km of a 100km walk

At the end of my tour with Operation Deepfreeze in 1993, I resigned my commission and stayed in New Zealand. I started working in the Electrical Industry, doing Supply Chain Management and living in Christchurch. I moved to Hamilton in 2005, and did some consulting work in strategic management before taking on my current role as the CEO of The MacArthur Group.

Over the years I have been very vocal and active on LGBT issues in New Zealand; having promised myself once I left the Navy I would never hide again, and that I would do what I could for the LGBT community and for better understanding in the wider community. My partner is an ordained Minister in the Methodist Church of New Zealand, and we spend a great deal of time on many church related activities.

I think being a member of USNA Out is very important and we must not stop working for recognition by our alma mater of the many many LGBT mids, officers etc. that have come through the hallowed halls of Mother B.