Col David Lapan USMC, DASD Media Operations

A Quantico-Potomac AFCEA luncheon was held on August 17, 2011 at 1100 at the Clubs at Quantico where we looked at Media Operations two angles.  The first angle is from the role DOD Public Affairs in addressing topics that range from Warfighting to issues within the DOD that are topical to the public and media in general.  The second angle is how information technology is utilized to support media reporting, whether it be from the Pentagon or from the battlefield.

Our speaker was Colonel David A. Lapan, a professional Public Affairs Officer who is currently serving as the acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Department for Public Affairs at the Pentagon.

Col Lapan did not use slides, so no presentation is available.


Colonel David A. Lapan, USMC

Colonel Dave Lapan currently serves as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Department for Public Affairs, The Pentagon, Washington, DC.

Col. Lapan enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1980 and served as an air traffic controller and UC-12B crew chief before being selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program.  He was commissioned a second lieutenant of Marines in April 1983.

Col. Lapan transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve in 1987.  He was assigned to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro (CA), working in airfield operations, and was recalled to active duty during Operation Desert Storm.

In 1993, he resumed his undergraduate studies and graduated with honors from the Pennsylvania State University with a B.A. in Journalism and Humanities.  He also spent two years as assistant press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, the largest agency in Pennsylvania state government.

In 1996, as a Reserve officer, Col. Lapan was assigned to the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, serving as public affairs liaison to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies for the 1997 Presidential Inauguration.

Returning to full-time active duty, he was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, where he served as head of the Media and Plans branches, from 1997 – 2000.

From 2000 – 2003, Col. Lapan served as press officer in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, The Pentagon, where, among other duties, he was Public Affairs liaison to U.S. Central Command during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

From 2003 – 2006, he was assigned as Public Affairs Officer, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, NC.  In 2004, he served as PAO for Combined Joint Task Force – Haiti during Operation Secure Tomorrow and in 2005-06, served as PAO for Multi-National Force – West during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

From 2006-2009, Col. Lapan served as deputy director and director of Public Affairs, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.

His formal military education includes Air Traffic Control “A” School and Defense Information School.  He is a graduate of the Air War College and distinguished graduate of the Naval War College.

His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal (3), Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.