Dick Couch graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1967. After attending DASH controller training, he reported aboard the naval destroyer USS Mansfield DD728. He graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Class 45 in 1969, and was the class Honorman. He was also the first in his class at the Navy Underwater Swimmers School and the Army Free Fall (HALO) School. As Whiskey Platoon Commander with SEAL Team One in Vietnam, he led one of the few successful prisoner of war rescue operations of that conflict.
Following his release from active duty in the U.S. Navy, he served as a maritime and paramilitary case officer with the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1997, he retired from the Naval Reserve with the rank of Captain. At that time, he held the senior command billet in the SEAL reserve community.
He and his wife, Julia, live in Idaho. However, he is currently serving as a Professor of Ethics at the United States Naval Academy.
The Sheriff of Ramadi: Navy SEALs and the Winning of Al-Anbarmoreless
In a book published by the Naval Institute Press, former U.S. Navy SEAL Dick Couch reports on the actions of the SEAL Task Unit during the Battle of Ramadi in Iraq's al-Anbar Province between 2005 and 2007. Couch details the previously unrecognized importance of the SEALs in winning the fight to control Ramadi. Calling the Battle of Ramadi one of the most significant military engagements in the global war against terrorism since 9/11 and the most sustained and vicious engagement ever fought by SEALs, he describes the success of special operations forces and Navy SEALs fighting side by side with conventional forces. Couch identifies the SEALs' ability to adapt and evolve in this deadly urban battle space and argues their code of brotherhood is a key to their success on the battlefield, giving as an example the story of PO2 Michael A. Monsoor, who saved other members of his sniper team by diving on a grenade and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Battle of Ramadi.