Commander Nakia CooperCommanding Officer
Commander Nakia Cooper grew up in Manassas, Virginia. He entered the Navy through the Baccalaureate Degree Completion program while receiving his Bachelors of Science in Physical Education/Teacher Education at West Virginia University. He was commissioned through Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida in 1998.
Following his commissioning, he completed Surface Warfare Officer training in preparation for his first assignment onboard USS CARTER HALL (LSD 50). During his tour, he severed as the Gunnery/Force Protection Officer, completing at UNITAS deployment and a West African Training Cruise. Upon completion of his first assignment, he was selected to remain onboard USS CARTER for a longer tour and became the ship's Navigator.
Upon completion of his initial sea duty, he was assigned to the Pentagon on the OPNAV Staff. He served as a Foreign Liaison Officer in the N2L organization.
After completing Department Head School in Newport, Rhode Island, he was assigned to USS ASHLAND (LSD 48) as the Operations Officer. While onboard, he completed an Arabian Gulf deployment in Support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. After his departure from ASHLAND, Command Cooper was assigned as the Commanding Officer of PC Crew JULIET and commanded USS SQUALL (PC 7) and USS FIREBOLT (PC 10).
Upon completion of his command tour, he attended the Naval War College followed by another tour at the Pentagon in OPNAV N95 as a Requirements Action Officer. Following his OPNAV tour, he was assigned as the Flag Secretary/Administration Officer for Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group TWO. After a successful tour at ESG 2, he was an Operational Analyst with the Joint and Coalition Operational Analysis division, Joint Staff, J7. He reported as Executive Officer onboard USS OAK HILL (LSD 51) in February 2015 and assumed Command of USS OAK HILL (LSD 51) in August of 2016.
Commander Cooper's personal awards include the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.