Cmdr. Ryan Vest is a military professor in the Russian Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College's Center for Naval Warfare Studies. He is also a Ph.D. candidate in the War Studies Department at King’s College London, where his research is focused on Russian maritime strategy and policy. He previously served as a naval aviator, accruing more than 2,500 hours in the SH-60F, HH-60H and MH-60S.