Sergeant Russell enlisted into the Australian Regular Army on the 26th of November 1986. After he completed his Recruit Training at Kapooka, he was allocated to the Royal Australian Engineer Corps At the completion of his Initial Employment Training, Sergeant Russell was posted to the 2nd/3rd Field Engineer Regiment.
Sergeant Russell successfully completed the Special Air Service Selection Course in 1991 and completed a number of specialist courses ranging from patrolling, demolitions, parachuting, sniper, and medical.
During his service in the Australian Defence Force, Sergeant Russell was awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with East Timor clasp and International Coalition Against Terrorism Clasp, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the International Forces East Timor Medal, the Australian Service Medal with Iraq clasp, the Australian Defence Medal, the United Nations Medal with the United Nations Transitional Authority East Timor Ribbon, the Infantry Combat Badge and the Returned from Active Service Badge.
Andrew served as a sergeant in the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR). On 16 February 2002, Russell was travelling through southern Afghanistan with four other Australian soldiers when their Long Range Patrol Vehicle struck a land mine, severely injuring him. He was taken to a US military hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.