Pvt Kappen attended basic training in June 1990 where he was meritoriously promoted to PFC. PFC Kappen attended both MCT and SOI, where he was meritoriously promoted to LCpl. In December of 1990 LCpl Kappen executed orders to 2nd Light Armored Infantry Battalion.
In December of 1990, LCpl Kappen was deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield, and later participated in Operation Desert Storm. In June of 1991 LCpl Kappen returned to CONUS. In October of 1992 he was promoted to Corporal. In August of 1993 Cpl Kappen left for a Mediterranean Float with the 22nd MEU. While on the deployment he participated in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. In February, 1994 Cpl Kappen was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. After returning from deployment Sgt Kappen received orders to LAV Test Directorate in Yuma, Arizona.
Sgt Kappen checked into Light Armored Vehicle Test Directorate (LAV-TD), in November 1994. While at LAV-TD, Sgt Kappen tested several upgrades to the Light Armored Vehicles, including the thermal sight and Applique Armor. In January 1998 Sgt Kappen executed orders to MCRD San Diego.
Sgt Kappen attended class 2-98 and was assigned to Golf Company. During his second cycle he was reassigned to Fox Company. Sgt Kappen was promoted to SSgt in Dec 1998. SSgt Kappen completed six cycles as a drill instructor and three as a senior drill instructor. In June of 2000 SSgt Kappen transferred to RTR S-3, to serve as the training chief. In March of 2001 SSgt Kappen executed orders to 1st Light Armored Recon (LAR) Battalion.
While at LAR, SSgt Kappen was assigned to Delta Company where he filled both 1stSgt and Company Gunnery Sergeant billets. In June of 2002 SSgt Kappen deployed with the 11th MEU. Returning from deployment in Dec 2002, SSgt Kappen prepared the company to deploy to Kuwait as the fly away company for the Bn to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon returning to the states, SSgt Kappen was assigned as the Assistant Operations Chief. SSgt Kappen was promoted to GySgt in Sept 2003. GySgt Kappen was sent to OIF II as the Assistant Ops Chief. While in OIF II GySgt Kappen was appointed as the Iraqi Nation Guard SNCOIC for LAR Bn. In January 2005 GySgt Kappen executed orders to MCRD San Diego.
After completing Drill Instructor school GySgt Kappen was assigned to Fox Company where he served as chief drill instructor for five cycles. GySgt Kappen was then assigned as the Battalion Drill Master for Second Recruit Training Battalion. GySgt Kappen was selected to 1stSgt and received orders to Officer Candidate School.
1stSgt Kappen was assigned as 1stSgt for Charlie Company, Officer Candidates School where he completed 6 OCC companies. He was transferred to H&S Company for the summer where he received and executed orders to 3rd Battalion 2d Marines.
1stSgt Kappen assumed duties as the First Sergeant for Kilo Company, and was immediately sent to Haiti to meet up with the battalion conducting disaster relief operations. 1stSgt Kappen prepared the company and deployed to Afghanistan. After returning from deployment 1stSgt Kappen attended the Senior Enlisted Academy of the Navy in New Port Rhode Island. Upon graduation in February 2012, 1stSgt Kappen received and executed orders assume duties as the company First Sergeant of Headquarters Company 2d Marine Regiment.
In November of 2012 1stSgt Kappen was selected to Sergeant Major and received orders to assume the billet as the Sergeant Major for 3d Marine Special Operations Support Battalion, Marine Special Operations Command. In June of 2015 SgtMaj Kappen was assigned duties as the SgtMaj for VMFA (AW) 242 in Iwakuni Japan, and in August of 2016, SgtMaj Kappen was hand selected to assume the duties as the SgtMaj for VMFA-121. In December SgtMaj Kappen was assigned to his current duties and the Base Sergeant Major for MCAS Futenma.
SgtMaj Kappen is married with two children. His personal awards include Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Silver Star in lieu of sixth award, Navy Achievement Medal and Combat Action Ribbon with two gold stars in lieu of third award.