Russell D. Harrington Jr. joined A-State ROTC in 1962, graduated and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army Medical Service Corps in May 1966, where he served as commander of the 561st Medical Ambulance Company in Vietnam. After receiving orders to move his unit to Saigon, he quickly developed and implemented an ambulance evacuation system that supported Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps casualties in the entire Saigon area of operations, operating the largest and busiest medical evacuation landing zone in Vietnam.
After Vietnam, 1st Lt. Harrington pursued a highly distinguished civilian career. He recently retired as the president and chief executive officer of Baptist Health, a system of eight hospitals and skilled care facilities. He has held many positions of distinction throughout his career and has earned several notable honors, including being named an A-State Distinguished Alumnus in 1987, and Arkansan of the Year in 2002. He holds the rank of honorary colonel with the Arkansas State Police.