CDR Mark E. Cooper
USS Pasadena (SSN 752)
Cmdr. Cooper is a native of Butner, N.C. He entered the Navy through the NROTC program while completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University in 1995.
Initially assigned to the USS Maryland (SSBN 738), he completed five strategic deterrent patrols while serving as the division officer for various divisions in the Engineering Department. While aboard the Maryland, the ship earned the Battle Efficiency Award from Commander Submarine Squadron TWENTY.
Cooper next served as a NROTC instructor at his alma mater beginning in December 1999. As the Officer in Charge of the North Carolina State University detachment, he mentored over 40 Midshipmen and Officer Candidates slated to enter the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program while earning his Masters Degree in Business Administration.
He was then assigned as the Engineer Officer on the USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716) in San Diego, where he completed a four-month interim dry-docking maintenance period and one Western Pacific Deployment. While aboard Salt Lake City, the ship earned one Battle Efficiency Award and three Engineering Excellence Awards from Commander Squadron ELEVEN. Cooper then transferred to Commander Submarine Group SEVEN in Yokosuka, Japan where he served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Material and Logistics (N4) for all submarines forward deployed to the FIFTH and SEVENTH Fleets until March 2007.
He returned to sea as Executive Officer of the USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) in July 2007. During his Executive Officer tour, Jacksonville completed a successful EUCOM deployment and a change of homeport to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
His most recent assignments included a year at the National War College where he earned a Masters of Arts degree in National Security Strategy and two years as the Sensitive Reconnaissance Operations Branch Head for U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (JFCC-ISR) in Washington, DC.
CDR Cooper has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards) and various other unit and campaign awards.