Captain Brad Cooper
Commanding Officer

Bio Image

Captain Brad Cooper is a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned a B.S. in Economics.

His career has been marked by service in every Combatant Command theater of operation, including a tour on the ground in Afghanistan, as well as five tours working for senior leaders in the U.S. Government, U.S. Department of Defense and the Government of Afghanistan. He has participated in 13 named operations supporting U.S. military efforts in and around Kuwait, Iraq, Haiti, Columbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Somalia, as well as counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan.

Afloat, he most recently had the great life privilege to serve as the Commanding Officer in USS RUSSELL (DDG 59). Other tours afloat include: Executive Officer in USS VICKSBURG (CG 69); Operations Officer in USS ANZIO (CG 68) and USS FITZGERALD (DDG 62); Flag Aide to the Commander, USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER Carrier Strike Group; and, Combat Information Center (CIC) Officer and Electrical Officer in USS THOMAS S. GATES (CG 51).

Ashore, he most recently served in the White House as the first Executive Director of Joining Forces, a nation-wide advocacy initiative for veterans, service members and military families. Other tours include service as: Senior Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness); Special Assistant to the Commander, U.S. Africa Command; Executive Assistant and U.S. Advisor to the Afghan Minister of the Interior; Division Chief for Strategic Reform of the Afghan Police and Border Guards while assigned to Commander, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan; Flag Aide to the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet; and, multiple tours as an assignment officer in the Navy Personnel Command, including service as the Deputy Director of Navy Surface Warfare Officer assignments.

Cooper has studied International Relations at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He earned a Master's Degree in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University in Washington, D.C. and is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College.

Captain Cooper is a recipient of the Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Award for Visionary Leadership. His 18 personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal (2 awards) and the Bronze Star Medal. Crews with whom Cooper 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.