Dick Couch was born in Mississippi and raised in Southern Indiana. He 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 graduated 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.
- Seal Team One (1991 ISBN 978-1591141341)
- Pressure Point (1993; 2006 ISBN 0743464265)
- Silent Descent (1994 ISBN 978-0399138973)
- Rising Wind (1996 ISBN 978-1557501332)
- The Mercenary Option (2003 ISBN 0743480112)
- Covert Action (2005 ISBN 0743464257)
- Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor (Novelization of film of the same name, 2012 ISBN 978-0425259351)
- Tom Clancy's Op-Center: Out of the Ashes (with George Galdorisi, 2014 ISBN 978-1250026835)
- Tom Clancy's Op-Center: Into the Fire (with George Galdorisi, 2015 ISBN 9781250026842)
- The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 (2003 ISBN 978-1400046959)
- The Finishing School: Earning the Navy SEAL Trident (2005 ISBN 978-0609810460)
- Down Range: Navy SEALs in the War on Terrorism (2006 ISBN 978-1400081011)
- Chosen Soldier: The Making of A Special Forces Warrior (2007 ISBN 978-0307339393)
- The Sheriff of Ramadi: Navy SEALs and the Winning of al-Anbar (2008 ISBN 978-1591141471)
- A Tactical Ethic: Moral Conduct in the Insurgent Battlespace (2010 ISBN 978-1591141372)
- Sua Sponte: The Forging of a Modern American Ranger (2012 ISBN 978-0425253601)
- Always Faithful, Always Forward: The Forging of a Special Operations Marine (2014 ISBN 978-0425268599)
- By Honor Bound: Two Navy SEALs, the Medal of Honor, and a Story of Extraordinary Courage Tom Norris and Mike Thornton, with Dick Couch (2016 ISBN 978-1250070593)
- "There but for the grace of God. Dick Couch. United States Naval Institute. Proceedings. Annapolis: Aug 2001.Vol.127, Iss. 8; pg. 78
- "Paperbacks -- Seal Team One by Dick Couch," review by Kaganoff, Penny. Publishers Weekly. New York: May 10, 1991.Vol.238, Iss. 21; pg. 277.
- "Fiction -- Pressure Point by Dick Couch." book review by Steinberg, Sybil. Publishers Weekly. New York: May 11, 1992.Vol.239, Iss. 22; pg. 53. "Taut writing and crisp dialogue further enhance the appeal of one of the year's better adventure novels." "Violence-glorifying first novel."
- "Fiction -- Rising Wind by Dick Couch." book review by Braun, Patricia. The Booklist. Chicago: May 15, 1996. Vol. 92, Iss. 18; p. 1576
- "The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228," book review by Doug Pricer. Military History. Herndon: Jun 2002.Vol.19, Iss. 2; pg. 70. "..an impressively researched look into the heart of a culture few Americans, including many military enthusiasts, truly grasp."
- "The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228," book review by Jennifer M Price. Sea Power. Washington: Apr 2002.Vol.45, Iss. 4; pg. 99. "His insider's view draws the reader in and makes the book a fast and enjoyable read"