After beginning his career as an enlisted soldier in the airborne infantry in 1990, COL Rapone commissioned as an Armor Officer in 1996, and since 2010 has served as an Army Strategist. Prior to becoming an instructor at the College of International Security Studies, National Defense University, COL Rapone was the Russia Country Director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy and helped formulate U.S. defense policy responses to Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine.
His previous teaching experience includes two years at the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College, where he delivered graduate level curriculum to U.S. and international students. COL Rapone was also instrumental in the redesign of the Operational Art and Design curriculum as its primary course director.
COL Rapone deployed three times during his career, commanding A Co 1-63 Armor during OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM I, as strategic planner for NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan in 2010-11 for OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, and most recently as the Deputy Director for Strategy and Plans for Combined Joint Task Force-OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE in 2018. He has also served as the chief strategist on the Army’s Talent Management Task Force; as the Plans Assessment Branch Chief, Joint Operational War Plans Division on the Joint Staff; and as a campaign planner for NORAD-NORTHCOM.
COL Rapone is a graduate of the Armor Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, and the School of Advanced Military Studies. He holds Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Arts in Diplomacy from Norwich University, a Master of Military Arts and Science from the Command and General Staff College, and a Master of Science in Strategic Studies (Superior Graduate) from the U.S. Army War College.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2OLC), the Army Meritorious Service Medal (2OLC), the Army Commendation Medal (3OLC), the Joint Service Achievement Medal (OLC), the Army Achievement Medal (2OLC), the Basic Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge and the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold).