Retired from the United States Marine Corps, July 1, 1993 as a Chief Warrant Officer with 23 years and two months active duty service. Combat duty includes Vietnam and Lebanon. Decorations include Combat Action Ribbon and Meritorious Service Medal. Training included: infantry skills, combat tactics and leadership, special operations and terrorism (anti and counter), sniper, reconnaissance, parachute, infantry weapons, survival in desert and jungle environments, rough terrain skills (mountaineering), cold weather, water survival qualified (both from ground and aviation perspectives) (highest possible water survival rating), marksmanship and instruction of marksmanship (competition in arms program, shooting team member at Quantico), and public affairs (public affairs officer, combat correspondent, photojournalist, print and broadcast journalist).
In 1976 received Commercial Airplane Pilot Certification (commercial pilot license) with Instrument Airplane rating.
In 1997 licensed as a commodity futures broker and commodity futures brokerage firm manager. Worked as Director of Commodities and Communications at National Livestock Producers Association and as General Manager of NLPA’s National Producers Service Company (a national commodity futures brokerage firm whose primary business was assisting livestock producers in risk management, marketing and hedging their enterprises) until July 1999. Resigned to the position to write books full-time.
For two years prior to joining the Marine Corps worked as a newspaper reporter and sports editor for the Artesia Daily Press in New Mexico, also a stringer reporter for United Press International.
After Marine Corps service pursued career as full-time, free-lance journalist. Also operated family cattle ranching operation in Oklahoma until 1997 when accepting the executive position with National Livestock Producers Association.
While working as a free-lance journalist, returned to Vietnam on assignment for LIFE Magazine with friend and colleague, Dirck Halstead, then senior White House photographer for TIME Magazine. After completing LIFE assignment, remained in Vietnam and filmed a documentary that examined the end of the Vietnam War. While shooting the documentary, gathered material and compiled interviews for Goodnight Saigon, published January 4, 2005 by the G. P. Putnam / Berkley Publishing Group, Penguin Group (USA), New York, New York.
Today, resides at Peyton, Colorado, near Colorado Springs, writing books, and breeding, raising and developing registered American Quarter Horses for professional rodeo and futurity competition.