Ron Capps was in government service for 25 years, his career divided nearly evenly between the Army and the Foreign Service.
In the Army and Army Reserve from 1983 to 2008, Ron trained and served as a cavalryman, human intelligence case officer, and Foreign Area Officer. He is a combat veteran of Afghanistan, served on peacekeeping duty in Sudan and Chad, and took part in a non-combatant evacuation during a military mutiny in the Central African Republic.
Ron was a Foreign Service political officer from 1994 to 2008. He served overseas (inter alia) in Kosovo, Rwanda, Iraq and the Darfur region of Sudan; in Washington, he served as a desk officer in the Bureau of European Affairs, as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, and as a division chief in the Office for African Analysis.
In 2011, he founded the Veterans Writing Project, a nonprofit that provides no-cost writing seminars and workshops for veterans, service members, and their adult family members. His book, Writing War: A Guide to Telling Your Own Story, serves as the core curriculum for VWP seminars and workshops. Ron is also the curriculum developer and lead instructor for the National Endowment for the Arts program that bring expressive and creative writing seminars to wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence.
His literary writing has appeared in The Delmarva Review, JMWW, The Little Patuxent Review, The New York Times, Prime Number, RiverLit, and in numerous online venues. His policy writing and commentary have appeared in The American Interest, Foreign Policy, Health Affairs, Monthly Developments, Time magazine’s Battleland blog and on NPR’s All Things Considered, the BBC World Service, and Pacifica Radio. He has been a consultant to PBS’s Frontline and Newshour, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. Three of Ron’s essays have been listed a notable in Best American Essays (2012, 2014, 2015) and one received special mention in the 2015 Pushcart Prizes.
He is also an accomplished songwriter who studied music (vocal performance) at Virginia Commonwealth University and songwriting at Berklee College of Music. He was awarded two medals (one gold and one bronze) for songwriting at the 2019 National Creative Arts Festival. His first release, Trying to Catch Amnesia examines the lives of returning combat veterans and their families. It is available for download or as a physical disk at RonCappsMusic.com.
Ron is a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, and was twice presented Department of State Superior Honor Awards. He was named an Exceptional Collector of Human Intelligence by the Director of Central Intelligence in 1997, and a Distinguished Analyst by the Director of National Intelligence in 2008. The American Foreign Service Association awarded Ron its 2007 William R. Rivkin award for “intellectual courage and the creative use of dissent in foreign policy.” In 2017 the Johns Hopkins University Foreign Affairs Symposium presented Ron with the Anne Smedinghoff Award for “a life dedicated to service, social justice, and a commitment to others.”
He is a graduate of both the Master of Liberal Arts and the MA in Writing programs of The Johns Hopkins University. Ron and his wife Carole Florman live in Maine.