Richard Allen Smith is a writer, commentator, Afghanistan war veteran and former staffer at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
He has written for the Washington Post, Esquire, Rolling Stone, TIME, and other outlets and appeared on national television to discuss veteran and military issues. His work has been quoted or referenced in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Washington Independent, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, The Atlantic, The Daily Caller, Reuters, Associated Press, Fox News, Center for American Progress and other outlets.
Smith served on active duty in the United States Army for five years, including a deployment to Afghanistan from February of 2007 to April of 2008. He served in a support role for a battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division designated as the Theater Tactical Force, a “a flex force” used in regions that experienced some of the heaviest fighting at that time.
After leaving the service, Smith obtained his undergraduate degree on the GI Bill while working for the veterans organization VoteVets, ultimately becoming Vice Chairman of that organization. Smith led initiatives that saw the cancellation of a speech at West Point by controversial retired General Jerry Boykin, pointed out the hypocrisy on Veterans care by those opposed to the Affordable Care Act, and other high visibility actions.
Smith later worked as a digital communications staffer at the Department of Veterans Affairs during the height of the disability claims backlog. During that process, he spearheaded innovative initiatives to communicate with veterans more effectively using online tools, as well as implementing a first of its kind process for resolving unpaid GI Bill claims for struggling student veterans.
Richard Allen Smith is currently a communications strategist in Washington, DC. He holds a masters degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University. He lives with his wife, children, and cat.