OMA: Biography - Ross

Robert T. Ross

Executive Director -- Office of Military Affairs

  {Photo of Bob Ross}

Bob Ross grew up along the front range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  At 17 years old, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-16), and at Naval Station Adak, Alaska, where he specialized in human resources management.  Petty Officer Second Class Ross was honorably discharged in 1980 and used the G.I. Bill to attend college, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1985.


He returned to the Navy and received his commission at Naval Station Newport, RI, on February 7, 1986.  As a junior officer, he again reported to the USS Lexington (CV-16) and earned his formal designation as a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) in 1988.  He piloted this aircraft carrier while conducting flight operations and served as the ship's Chief of Security.  This unique experience to serve as a junior enlisted sailor and then as an officer on the same ship shaped his appreciation for the unique demands placed on service members and their families of all ranks.

In 1989, he reported to the guided missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61), still under construction in Bath, ME.  As the Ordnance and Nuclear Weapons Officer, he was responsible for all weapons and launching systems aboard the ship and organized professional warfare training for all officers.  Moving from the oldest aircraft carrier in the world to the U.S. Navy's newest warship shaped his appreciation for new technologies and the professional development of our armed forces.

He was selected for special duty as a Navy Public Affairs Officer in 1991. In this role he coordinated community affairs and organizational communications. He served as a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon and then deployed with the Eisenhower Battle Group as Director of Public Affairs for 13 ships and submarines dispersed throughout the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf.  He then served as Director of Media and Community Relations for the Atlantic Fleet.


He earned a masters degree in National Security and Strategic Studies at the U.S. Naval War College in 1998, and reported to Submarine Group TWO in Groton, CT.  Then, as Public Affairs Director for Navy Region Northeast, he coordinated public affairs for all naval bases in New England, New York and New Jersey.  In his last Navy assignment, he was Director of Public Affairs for the United States Sixth Fleet, based in Gaeta, Italy.


After retiring from the Navy in 2003 to pursue further public service in municipal and state government, he completed an MPA at UCONN in 2004.  He temporarily moved back to Colorado for two years where he served as an Emergency Manager and City Administrator for the City of Cripple Creek, CO.  Upon his return to Salem, CT, he was elected First Selectman in 2007 and continues to serve on the town's Board of Selectmen.


In February 2011, Governor Dannel P. Malloy nominated Bob Ross to continue serving as the Executive Director of the Office of Military Affairs, a position he has held since July 2009.  His nomination was confirmed by the State Senate in March 2011.




M.A., Public Policy and Administration, University of Connecticut (2004).

M.A., National Security and Strategic Studies, Naval War College Newport, RI (1998).

Certificate, Graduate Studies, Govt. Communication, University of Oklahoma (1997).

B.A. Communication, Bethany College, Bethany, OK (1985).




The LEGION OF MERIT for distinguished public service in European, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Black Sea regions.  Three MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDALS for meritorious service in the Atlantic Fleet.  The NAVY COMMENDATION MEDAL for coordinating public affairs.  The ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL for outstanding performance in Operation Desert Storm.  The JOINT SERVICE ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL for outstanding performance in Operation Restore Democracy.  Two NAVY ACHIEVEMENT MEDALS for superior performance in Naval Surface Warfare, Navigation and Security Operations.  The UCONN DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD for continued commitment and excellence in public administration.




Commissioner, Connecticut Maritime Commission (2011-2014)
Member, Governorís Veterans Cabinet (2012-2014)
Member, Board of Selectmen, Town of Salem, CT (2007-2014)
Member, Board of Directors, Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition (2013-2014)
Goodwin College Homeland Security & Criminal Justice Advisory Board (2012-2014)
National Association of Defense Communities Publications Advisory Committee (2012-2014)
Trustee, Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT (2010-2014)
Member, State Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (2009-2014)
Member, Lions Clubs International, Salem, CT (2007-2014)
President, Town of Salem Historical Society (2012-2013)
Council Member, UCONN MPA Alumni Association (2009-2012)
Member, Board of Directors, Southeastern CT Enterprise Region (2010-2011)
Adjunct Professor, Department of Public Policy, UCONN Graduate School (2009)
Adjunct Professor, Public Administration, Eastern Connecticut State University (2008)
Member, Southeastern CT Council of Governments, Norwich, CT (2007-2009)
Member, Connecticut Council of Small Towns (2007-2009)
Graduate, Leadership Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, CO (2006)
Commissioner, Charter Commission, Town of Salem, CT (2003-2004)
Lead Organizer, U.S. participation in the 1st Special Olympics in Italy (2001-2002)
Member, Board of Directors, International Naval Review, New York, NY (2000)
Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity, Norfolk, VA (1995-1996)
Volunteer, Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team (NEST), Norfolk, VA (1993-1995)



Content Last Modified on 5/5/2014 3:36:03 PM