Gov. Malloy Re-Appoints Robert T. Ross

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he intends to re-appoint Robert T. Ross as the Executive Director of the Office of Military Affairs (OMA) when his second term in office begins on January 7, 2015.
“With the military knowledge that he obtained in the Navy, and his first-hand experience in regional and municipal government, Bob Ross has been a key advocate for Connecticut, its defense industry, and for our goals to grow jobs in this sector, particularly when it comes to the southeastern section of our state,” Governor Malloy said.  “This office plays significant economic development role for Connecticut, and I am thankful that Bob will continue serving in this capacity.”
Ross has served in the role since July 2009, when he was appointed by Governor M. Jodi Rell.  Upon taking office in 2011, Governor Malloy re-appointed him to the position.
“The last four years has been a period of great accomplishment as we have supported service members and their families, enhanced the operational value of our military bases, and enabled our defense industries to thrive,” Ross said.  “These accomplishments have been possible due to the continuous support of the Governor, our legislature and local communities.  I’m very happy to remain part of this team and look forward to continuing our collaborative work on projects that support our defense industries and those who serve.”
In his role as Executive Director, Ross supports Connecticut’s military families; advocates for Connecticut’s defense industries; helps to coordinate efforts to prevent the closure or downsizing of the Naval Submarine Base in Groton; encourages the retention of established military missions and the relocation of new ones to the state; and serves as a liaison to the Connecticut Congressional delegation on defense and military issues.
Notable accomplishments by the office under Ross’s leadership include:

  • Since the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round, the state partnered with the Navy in completing over $200M in construction and demolition projects at the submarine base in Groton.  Approximately $14 million was funded by the State of Connecticut through the OMA in a nationally unprecedented investment program.   OMA orchestrated major projects that included efficiency improvements to base energy and utility operations, construction of new operations and training facilities to replace aging infrastructure, and encroachment mitigation to maintain an operational buffer zone around the base.  These projects, and those planned in the future, enhance the military value of the base placing it in a much better position to withstand the next BRAC round.
  • Working with military leaders, school superintendents, principals and teachers, Ross helped forge collaborations at the state and local level to minimize challenges for families in transition, and he has been a forceful advocate on a variety of issues for military organizations, defense industries and service members within several state agencies.
  • Ross’s professional connections in Washington D.C. were influential in bringing OpSail 2012 to Connecticut and he has played a key role in organizing annual military and maritime events each year since.
  • As the lead coordinator for state agency support to the proposed National Coast Guard Museum, Ross has helped organize the foundational work of several state agencies and project stakeholders to keep this major national project on track and progressing efficiently.
  • Working closely with Commissioner Catherine Smith of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Ross coordinated the effort to complete the Deep Water Port Study in 2012, delivering it ahead of schedule and under budget.  That effort led directly to legislation in 2014 to create the Connecticut Port Authority in the coming year.
Ross enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 and served at sea and ashore specializing in human resources management.  He utilized the G.I. Bill to attend college, and was commissioned an officer in 1986.  As a Surface Warfare Officer, he piloted aircraft carriers and guided missile cruisers in international waters.  He was selected for special duty as a Navy Public Affairs Officer in 1991, and in this role coordinated internal communications, media and community relations.  He served as a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon from 1991 to 1992.
During his career, he directed public affairs for Submarine Group TWO and Navy Region Northeast, encompassing all Navy bases in New England, New York and New Jersey.  He directed community and media relations for the Atlantic Fleet, based in Norfolk, VA.  In his last Navy assignment, he was Director of Public Affairs for the United States Sixth Fleet, based in Gaeta, Italy.