Steve Russell’s journey from Iraq to Congress
Q&A | The freshman congressman talks about capturing Saddam, supporting the troops, and keeping the faith on Capitol Hill

Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., is a fifth-generation Oklahoman, and he represents Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District in Congress. Before coming to Washington, Russell served four years in the Oklahoma State Senate. Prior to that, he served 21 years in the U.S. Army. His unit attracted national and international attention when the battalion captured Saddam Hussein. I had this conversation with Russell in his office in Washington, D.C.

Can you tell about your experience finding Saddam Hussein? I had the privilege to command Task Force 1-22 Infantry in Tikrit, Iraq, in the Fourth Infantry Division, First Brigade, commanded by Col. Jim Hickey. I was one of his task force commanders, and we had the distinct privilege to be part of the units that were involved in the hunt and capture of Saddam. There were many units. I commanded one of the Infantry Task Force.

You spent a number of years retired as a lieutenant colonel. I turned down full colonel and a Queen’s University fellowship to Kingston, Canada, for the War College. It was just time to come home and watch my kids grow.

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