On December 18, 2015, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. appointed Russell Atterberry as Undersecretary at the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet). He joined CalVet upon his retirement after more than 21 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy.
From 1994 to 1999, Atterberry served as an engineer on the USS La Jolla (SSN-701), a nuclear fast-attack submarine stationed in Point Loma. From 2000 to 2002, he served in the quality assurance and maintenance division at the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Charleston, South Carolina.
From 2005 to 2007, Atterberry served on the USS Antietam (CG-54), a Ticonderoga Class Cruiser at Naval Base San Diego. He deployed numerous times on Antietam supporting the USS Carl Vinson Strike Group as air defense commander for Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Sea Dragon. From 2008 to 2010, Atterberry served as the Command Control Center Officer and Assistant Operations Officer on the USS New Orleans (LPD-18) stationed at Naval Base San Diego.
From 2010 to 2014, Atterberry served in numerous other positions including Operations and Training Officer at Cruiser Class Squadron in San Diego. His final active duty assignment was as the Executive Officer at Navy Operational Support Center, Sacramento.
Atterberry received his commission from the University of Washington's Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in 2004 with an undergraduate degree in Economics. He attended the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey for a program in National Security Affairs, and he served at the Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, Rhode Island.
Atterberry lives in Folsom with his wife Liz and their four children, Ethan, Reese, Kai, and Lucas.