Captain R. Mark Stacpoole, US Navy (ret.), is a nonresident senior fellow in the Indo-Pacific Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. After completing more than thirty years of naval service, he continues to train military and Department of Defense civilian personnel, preparing them for overseas and diplomatic duties.
Stacpoole served as a naval or acting defense attaché in Ukraine, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Canada. He has extensive experience in military diplomacy and international training programs. As an attaché, he traveled widely while working closely with the host country navies, coast guards, border guards, and ministries of fishery. Working with a variety of partners in the Indo-Pacific region, he coordinated multiple ship visits and bilateral and multilateral exercises. Stacpoole’s deep interest in military history and long association with the region led to him assisting in the protection of US and Australian war graves, especially those of USS Houston and HMAS Perth. He is the first naval officer to serve as commandant of the Joint Military Attaché School and was on the faculty of the US Naval War College. As a former search and rescue pilot, he is well-versed in maritime aviation issues. He served with the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara and as the US Sixth Fleet Black Sea desk officer in Naples, Italy. He is the recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and numerous other personal and campaign medals. Stacpoole is also the proud recipient of a meritorious medal awarded by the chief of the Ukrainian Navy.
Stacpoole is a graduate of Jakarta International School and holds a BS in political science from the US Naval Academy and an MA in strategy and policy from the US Naval War College.