Medevac

The only woman to have seen combat both as a U.S. soldier and a civilian journalist, I have broken national news in enterprise work and on deadline. I did the first unit-level, in-depth reporting of the Iraq War, producing work that was a finalist for The Atlantic’s Michael Kelly Award and led to a best-selling book. More recently, I co-wrote a high-profile book by a retired female lieutenant colonel who denounced systemic sexism in the Marine Corps.

2015-present

Author & freelance journalist
• Bylines include New York TimesAt War blog, The Daily Beast, etc.
• Academic work includes Funding Flows in the Sea of Goodwill: An Analysis of Major Funders in the Veteran-Serving Nonprofit Space for Center for a New American Security in June 2019.
• Author: They Fought for Each Other: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Hardest Hit Unit in Iraq (St. Martin’s Press, 2011), a national bestseller reviewed in Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers’ Weekly, etc.
• Co-author, with Marine Corps Lt. Col. (ret.) Kate Germano: Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind how Female Marines are Trained (Prometheus Books, 2018), reviewed in Kirkus Reviews, New York Journal of Books, etc.; covered by NPR, etc. Ghost-wrote related op-eds for USA Today, New York Times, etc.
• Educator/mentor: Taught journalism courses at both University of Colorado and University of Northern Colorado. Taught veterans writing seminar in nonfiction writing for the Veterans Writing Project. Edited nonfiction stories, as a volunteer, for Armed Services Arts Partnership anthology.
• Currently: editing a final draft of my first novel; writing a Civil War nonfiction book.

2016-19

Content manager, The So Company/Akoya

Led 12-person editorial team that helped overhaul how the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs communicates with the people it serves. We used plain language to rewrite thousands of form letters and much of the Vets.gov website to better explain to veterans, troops, and their families how to get help.

2014-15 

Director of Veterans Outreach/Public Relations, Bergmann & Moore

Wrote press releases; set up media interviews; managed firm’s social media and SEO. Wrote daily blog on news that affected veterans, from policy changes to benefits updates to mental health tips; it became a must-read for policy-makers, veterans service organizations, and reporters.

2010-14    

Reporter, USA TODAY

Typically wrote two or three stories a day on national health policy, including military and veterans’ health, for the News and Money sections. Also covered Congress and other politics as assigned. Stories explored how Baltimore sought to trim health costs, why repealing the Affordable Care Act would boost costs, why regulation reduced automobile deaths as deregulation increased gun deaths, the effects of Iraqi and Afghan dust on veterans’ health, and why older vets were seeing longer waits for benefits. ACA stories helped further the conversation and were often cited by members of Congress, as well as the president, and led to appearances on Morning Joe and C-SPAN, while reporting on military sexual assault led to an appearance on Alex Witt. Continuing coverage of the burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan helped researchers to connect dots and caused Sen. Tom Udall to push for better research and care for veterans, as well as for VA to create a burn-pit registry and recognize symptoms for benefits.

2005-10 

Reporter, Military Times

Covered military health, especially pertaining to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Broke the Walter Reed scandal and burn-pit story, leading to improvements in the Wounded Warrior Battalions, increased parity in benefits pay across ranks, the firing of the commanding general at Walter Reed. The burn-pit stories led to investigations by Rand and the GAO, as well as to Congress demanding that burn pits be banned. Barack Obama also focused on the issue. Wrote the “Blood Brothers” series, which was one of four finalists for The Atlantic’s 2008 Michael Kelly Award, and which was considered the first unit-level, in-depth reporting done in Iraq. The reporting helped end 15-month tours, as well as mid-tour changes of command. Specialized in mental health issues, traumatic brain injuries and disability retirement issues. Covered cultural, training and demographics issues, as well as the Pentagon, military strategy and national security issues.
• Embedded in Iraq for 10 weeks with the U.S. Army’s 26th Infantry Regiment in Baghdad; several U.S. Marine Corps units at al Taqqadum, and a medical unit in Mosul.
• Embedded in Afghanistan for 10 weeks with the U.S. Army’s 101st Aviation Regiment.

2005 

Reporting intern, Chicago Tribune

 Wrote general-assignment stories.

2000-05

Freelance journalist, college instructor, and copy editor

Covered breaking news for the Associated Press, wrote features and news stories for The Denver Post, wrote business and lifestyles stories for the (Boulder) Daily Camera, and covered science for NASA.
• Taught editing, news writing, and page design at the University of Northern Colorado.
• Taught critical thinking and writing at the University of Colorado.

2000-01

Family issues and people profiles reporter, The Oregonian

Wrote for southwest metro bureau.

1998-2000

Crime reporter, Salt Lake Tribune

Covered criminal and police activity in and around Salt Lake City.

1997-98

Education reporter, Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner

Covered 50 K-12 schools and state board of education.

1996-97 

Editor in chief, Rocky Mountain Collegian

Directed 90-person staff at Colorado State University’s daily student newspaper.

Military Service

1989-93

Communications specialist, U.S. Army

Served as unit public-affairs representative and photographer for three years. Served in the first Persian Gulf War and Mogadishu, Somalia.

Education

May 1997, B.A., technical journalism, Colorado State University.

May 2007, M.A., journalism, University of Colorado’s advanced professional program, focused on military history and politics

Skills

· gitHub · Pivotal Tracker · Human-centered design · Content management · Project management · Social Media · SEO · Photography · WordPress · HTML · Microsoft Office & Access · Page, Website, and Brochure Design · Marketing

Awards

Organizations

Writing Samples

www.kellykennedy.net

References

Available upon request.