Chief Warrant Officer 5
Donald F. Cooper, SES

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Donald F. Cooper, SES

U.S. Army, Retired 

Inducted 2023

Donald F. Cooper was born in Long Beach, CA. He enlisted in the Army and entered service in 1978. His first assignment was at 1st Bn, 18th FA in Augsburg Germany. There he quickly rose through the ranks to lead Fire Direction and Special Weapons activities. Upon his reassignment to Fort Bragg, he served in a myriad of leadership positions, including battery, battalion, brigade and Corps Artillery Fire Direction Control Operator. There he was instrumental in enabling the transition of the command’s fire direction capabilities from manual to automated gunnery. He was then assigned to HQ Battery of the 18th FA BDE and was instrumental in transitioning the Brigade’s Fire Direction capabilities to the TACFIRE system. During his time at Fort Bragg, NC he was selected as the Fort Bragg/XVIII Airborne Corps’ NCO of the Year and for SFC from the secondary zone. In 1988, Cooper was selected for the Warrant Officer Program, and upon completion of his WO training returned to Fort Bragg. He was assigned to the XVIII Airborne’s 1st FAD and provided vital planning support for Operation Just Cause. He led the deployment of the 1st FAD for Operation Desert Shield and was reassigned to the 18th FA BDE during Operation Desert Storm. Chief Cooper was then nominated and selected into the Project Warrior (PW) program and assigned as an Observer /Controller at NTC. His PW follow-on assignment was as an Instructor/Writer at the USAFAS at Fort Sill. He was instrumental in the redesign of the FA WOBC/WOAC and the rewrite of the targeting and target acquisition doctrine. Cooper capped his service at Fort Sill as the Deputy Chief of FAPO, responsible for the policies and programs that manage the eight life cycles of 60,000 Field Artillerymen and also led a major revision of the FA Warrant Officer’s force structure. Following this assignment he became a member of the US Army Development System XXI Task Force in Washington. He was then selected to be a Career Manager/Assignments Officer at PERSCOM for all active component FA, ADA and Engineer Warrant Officers. From there he was assigned to DTRA as a Weapons of Mass Destruction Target Analyst. While assigned to DTRA he was selected to be the Warrant Officer Representative on the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army’s Review of Education, Training and Assignments for Leaders Task Force. There he helped shape the future for the Army’s Warrant Officer Corps. CW5 Cooper retired on 31 July 2008 after 30 years of active duty service. Following his retirement, Mr. Cooper continued his service with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. In 2019, he was selected to the Senior Executive Service and assumed the position as the Director of the Combat Support Directorate, which he stood up and was responsible for providing the steady-state and crisis management coordinating function for the Agency by planning, organizing, directing, monitoring, and reporting on the execution of the Agency’s operations in support of the Combatant Commands, the Department of Defense (DoD), the Interagency, and other federal, state and local government entities.  Mr. Cooper is currently the Director of the Operations Department of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency that enables global situational awareness and provides globally integrated support to the Department of Defense, Allies, and interagency partners in order to counter and deter Weapons of Mass Destruction and emerging threats. Mr. Cooper has served over 40 years in active and civilian service to the US Army.