Rear Adm. Scott W. Ruston is a native of Rancho Palos Verdes, California. He is a 1992 graduate of Northwestern University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and his commission through Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps. He holds a Ph.D. in Critical Studies from the University of Southern California, and is a graduate of both the Air Command and Staff College and the Joint Forces Staff College.
Ruston was initially assigned to the “Scorpions” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light Squadron 49 (HSL 49) flying the SH-60B, including deployments to the Arabian Gulf aboard USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 61) and USS Lake Champlain (CG 57). He was subsequently assigned to HSL 41 as an instructor pilot, and then served as a department head with Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 85 (HC 85), flying the UH-3H. He transitioned to the MH-60S as the squadron redesignated to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 85 (HSC 85), where he also served as detachment officer in charge (OIC) for RIMPAC 2008.
Staff tours include NATO Allied Command Transformation, where he supported the Multi-National Information Operations Experiment, and Navy Region Southwest Reserve Component Command, as deputy commander. He mobilized to Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa where he served as the deputy director for Effects (J39), Military Coordination Cell Mogadishu OIC, and deputy director for Theater Security Cooperation.
Command tours include: HSC 3 Squadron Augment Unit; Navy Reserve (NR) Commander United States Naval Forces Europe/Africa-Sixth Fleet Maritime Partnership Program Detachment 118; and NR Joint Staff South, with additional duties as reserve assistant vice director, J7, overseeing the training, operational support, and professional development of 183 Joint reservists.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and additional unit and personal awards. Ruston has flown over 3000 flight hours, and is a Joint Qualified Officer. A Research Professor in his civilian career, Ruston directs Arizona State University’s Center on Narrative, Disinformation and Strategic Influence.
Last Updated: 15 October 2021