Ron Capps

Ron Capps was a soldier for 25 years. He enlisted in the National Guard in 1983, received a commission in 1985 and served on active duty for nine years before returning to the Army Reserve. As a reservist, he was re-called a number of times to active service including work with special operations forces in central Africa, a combat tour in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003, and work as an international peacekeeper in Darfur. Ron served as a Foreign Service officer from 1994-2008 with postings in Kosovo, Rwanda, Iraq and Sudan. Now retired from government service, he is a freelance writer and directs the Veterans Writing Project, a non-profit organization that provides no-cost writing seminars and workshops for veterans.

Articles from Contributor

Battleland Battleland

Why So Few Medals of Honor?

The White House has announced that President Obama will award Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry the Medal of Honor on July 12th. SFC Petry, a Ranger, lost a hand and received other significant wounds during a firefight in Afghanistan during which he tried to throw a hand grenade back at the enemy. (See my colleague Mark Thompson’s …

Battleland Battleland

Long Deployments for Reserves to Continue?

The Army is reviewing its strategy for employing the Army Reserve and National Guard after Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom end. Reserve forces make up slightly more than half of the total force of 1.1 million soldiers, and the reservists have pulled their weight in combat deployments over the past decade: over a third of …

Battleland Battleland

The Army is Tapped Out.

The internet is a wonderful thing. We should all thank Al Gore for inventing it. This morning I found a RAND corporation report that taught me at least two really interesting things. First, according to the report, 75% of the U.S. troops deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait have been soldiers. The Army makes up half of America’s …

Battleland Battleland

Loose Lips

When I read through the Washington Post yesterday, I stumbled across this Greg Jaffe article highlighting an odd bit of irony that just might get people killed. Jaffe’s article (which you really should read) notes that SecDef Gates and JCS Chief Mullen are trying to get the rest of the world to refrain from discussing facts, and from …

Battleland Battleland

Army Suicide Rate Likely to Remain High

Mark Benjamin commented on the spike in suicides among soldiers in April, noting that the number was equal to about half the deaths in Afghanistan during the same time period. The Army has been trying for several years to get ahead of the rising number of suicides. General Peter Chiarelli, the Vice Chief of Staff, is leading the effort, …

Battleland Battleland

Is This the Next Agent Orange?

Soldiers who served in Afghanistan, Iraq or Kuwait inhaled aluminum, nickel, lead and chromium in microscopic dust according to research led by a Navy medical officer. Officials at the Defense Department have dismissed the findings. The story is reported in USA Today by Kelly Kennedy.  

Battleland Battleland

Where I Failed

The VA’s unchecked incompetence has gone on long enough; no more veterans should be compelled to agonize or perish while the government fails to perform its obligations.”

Judge Reinhardt, Ninth Circuit.

Well, it’s official: denying veterans medical treatment is unconstitutional according to the ninth circuit court of …

Battleland Battleland

New Guy

In Vietnam, I’m told, soldiers and marines in infantry units didn’t make a special effort to learn the names of new guys joining the unit. They called them FNGs. New guys were welcome because they filled ranks; there were more people to pull security and hump ammo on patrol. But they were also viewed suspiciously; they were untested …

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