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Meet Dick Couch, retired Naval Captain, author, lecturer and proud Navy Federal member of over 30 years. Mr. Couch began his writing career in 1990 and since has authored nine novels. His fictional and nonfictional works give readers a front line view of military life, military special operations, special operations training, and tactical ethics. We sat down with Dick to learn more about how he became an author and what he hopes his readers will gain from his books.
I graduated from the Naval Academy in 1967 and while I was on active duty for only five years, I served aboard a Navy destroyer and in the Navy Underwater Demolition and SEAL Teams. It was an active period and I spent close to two years in Vietnam. Then I served as a maritime case officer at CIA. In my mid-40s, I realized that I was now a little old to continue to do the exciting things I once did, so I thought, “maybe I can write about it.” And I did.
Tell us about your latest work, Act of Revenge?
Act of Revenge is a medical thriller built around a domestic setting. A very senior and experienced Navy SEAL is brought home from combat deployment because his estranged family has been harmed by elements of the Russian Mafia. So he comes home with a mission. It’s the return of a prodigal, a love triangle, and payback time when our SEAL warrior unravels this complex plot and tracks down those responsible for harming his family.
What are some of the challenges or issues about military life that you address in your books?
I’ve been privileged to have been a special operator and, more recently, watch our military’s special operations community emerge as a professional and necessary component in our response to terrorism and the extremist elements that threaten our interests overseas and here at home. My novels (nine of them) carry a current theme of dealing with terror. My nine nonfiction books are built around our special operations ground-combat components–their training and their current operations in the Global War on Terror.
Are the experiences detailed in your books based on someone you know, yourself or generalizations?
Among my best-selling works are my books on special operations training and the overseas deployment of our SEALs, Rangers, Green Berets, and Special Operations Marines. I’m very lucky in that I’ve been allowed to embed with these special-operations components, both during their qualification venues here at their training bases and overseas on operational duty. So I can give my readers a first hand account of how we train our most accomplished warriors and what they are doing on deployment today. And along the way, I’ve found some terrific real-life heroes that serve as role models in my novels.
What would you like your readers to know/understand about military life after having read your books?
In my nonfiction work, I’ve been able to walk the reader through the rigorous training of our SEALs, Army Special Forces (the Green Berets), Marine special operators, and the Rangers of the 75th Ranger Regiment. My goal is for my readers to meet the young men (for now, just men) who submit themselves to these difficult and very demanding training regimes? Where do they come from; what does it take to make the grade when only one in five makes it through to join the operational forces? I do my best to help my readers get to know and understand these special warriors. In my novels, I simply want my readers to enjoy a good, well-told yarn and maybe learn something along the way. My fictional heroes are most usually active or former special operators, but not always. The good guys usually win and the bad guys lose, but not always.
What topics do you cover in your lectures?
I generally speak on one of three subjects. The first is informational and deals with the recruitment, assessment, training, deployment, and funding of our special operations components. The second is motivational where I try to relate the pursuit of excellence as practiced in our special operations components and how that may apply to corporate or governmental/organizational enterprise. And finally, I have a program that addresses the ethical, one that’s built around the moral and philosophical requirements of a military special operator–or the corporate or governmental warrior.
Can you share any information on upcoming projects you may be working on?
I’m working with a coauthor on a Navy SEAL history scheduled for release in conjunction with the airing of a PBS Special in November. Past that, I’m under contract to tell the incredible story of Mike Thornton and Tom Norris, two Vietnam-era Navy SEALs who received the Medal of Honor. It details the only time in history where one Medal of Honor recipient received the Medal for saving the life of another recipient. It’s an exciting and compelling tale, and I’m honored to be working with my brother SEALS, Tom and Mike, to tell their story. To learn more about my past and future works, visit me at www.dickcouch.com.
Dick Couch is one of our many awesome members. We know there are many more out there – so, if you or someone you know has a special talent, skill or story, we’d like to hear about it and feature YOU in our next member spotlight. To submit your amazing story to share on our blog, send an email to Corporate_Communications@navyfederal.org.