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White House Author

Brad Cooper

Former Executive Director of Joining Forces

Captain Brad Cooper is a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned a B.S. in Economics. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Susan, a talented Speech-Language Pathologist and deeply devoted Navy spouse. They are the proud parents of two great teenagers.

Captain Cooper’s career has been marked by global service in every Combatant Command theater of operation, including a tour on the ground in Afghanistan, as well as 4 tours working for senior leaders in the U.S. Department of Defense and the government of Afghanistan.

Afloat, Cooper’s tours include service as the CIC Officer in USS THOMAS S. GATES (CG 51), Flag Aide to the Commander, EISENHOWER Carrier Strike Group, Operations Officer in USS FITZGERALD (DDG 62) and USS ANZIO (CG 68) and Executive Officer in USS VICKSBURG (CG 69). He most recently had the great life privilege to serve as the Commanding Officer in USS RUSSELL (DDG 59).

Cooper has participated in 13 named operations including: Operation DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM; 3 counter-narcotic deployments off the coast of South America; enforcement of the no-fly zone over Bosnia and Herzegovina against the former Republic of Yugoslavia; Haitian migrant operations; 3 deployments in the Arabian Gulf conducting maritime interdiction against the former regime of Saddam Hussein; deployed operations leading up to the Kosovo campaign; a deployment to the North Arabian Sea immediately following the attacks of 9/11; counter-insurgency operations against the Taliban and Al Queda in eastern Afghanistan; and, a deployment to the Western Pacific.

Ashore, he most recently served as Senior Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness; other staff tours include service as: Special Assistant to the Commander, U.S. Africa Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany; Executive Assistant to the Afghan Minister of the Interior; Division Chief for Strategic Reform of the Afghan Police and Border Guards while assigned to Combined Security Transition Command, Afghanistan; Flag Aide to the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, headquartered in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and, 3 tours in the Navy Personnel Command as an assignment officer, including service as the Deputy Director for Surface Warfare Officer assignments.

Cooper has studied International Relations at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He earned a M.S. in Strategic Intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College in Washington, D.C., graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and briefly served as a Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.

Captain Cooper was the 2003 recipient of the Surface Navy's Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Award for Visionary Leadership. His 17 personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Bronze Star Medal. Crews and teams with whom he has served have earned 10 unit commendations and 8 “Battle E” awards for operational excellence, including back-to-back awards during his command tour in RUSSELL.

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