Photo By Master Sgt. Robert Segin | Maj. Christopher Cooper recently took command of 2nd Space Company, 1st Space Battalion, 1st Space Brigade, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. (Courtesy photo by US Army/RELEASED)
Maj. Christopher Cooper, formerly a fourth generation resident of Exeter, was featured on DVIDS, a branch of the US Department of Defense.
The original article is shown below.
Profiles in Space: Taking command – Maj. Christopher Cooper ready to lead 2nd Space Co.
COLORADO SPRINGS, UNITED STATES
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Rognstad
1st Space Brigade
FORT CARSON, Colo. – For Maj. Christopher Cooper, who has been a space officer for three years, this is the opportunity he’s wanted since coming into U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command – to lead a space company.
Command of 2nd Space Company was recently relinquished from Maj. Daniel McCarey to Cooper, who brings 16 years of enlisted and commissioned service to the table with his leadership.
“I’m very excited about it (taking command),” Cooper said. “It’s an awesome opportunity and always an honor to lead Soldiers, especially in the 1st Space Brigade. Since Space is the ultimate high ground, the environment is constantly changing, keeping you on your toes, requiring you to critically think and adapt in order to accomplish the mission.”
Originally a fourth-generation resident of Exeter, California, a small town of 10,500 people at the southeastern end of the state’s Central Valley, Cooper attended Chapman University in Southern California and played water polo. After two years, Cooper headed north up the 99 freeway to California State, Sacramento, to get a bachelor’s degree in history. He enlisted in the Army shortly thereafter.
“The nation was at war,” Cooper said. “All of my friends and family were joining and I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself by answering the nation’s call when they needed it.”
Cooper went into military counterintelligence and rose to the rank of sergeant (E-5) before commissioning in 2009. Cooper said four years of enlisted service before he became an officer was beneficial to his career.
“Being prior enlisted allows you to understand what you are asking of your Soldiers,” Cooper said. “Because I have been in their shoes, it allows me to consider the impact of my decisions a bit more before I task a Soldier to essentially ‘take the hill.’ For me it’s been vital. It allows me to understand what my Soldiers are experiencing.”
Shortly after commissioning and receiving a master’s degree in public administration from Central Michigan University in the Green to Gold program, (a program designed to allow enlisted soldiers to receive a baccalaureate or master’s degree and earn a commission as an Army officer) Cooper deployed to Iraq as a second lieutenant in 2010/11 serving as the deputy intel officer (S2) for his squadron, where he quickly transitioned into the officer role with combat troops in a warzone.
“That was an awesome experience,” Cooper said. “It was unique to be providing that intel support to the combat arms troops, providing that support to the warfighter.”
After over a decade in intelligence, Cooper then transitioned into Army Space, and after some time spent at Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Space Brigade, and at Human Resources Command, Cooper was selected as a space operations officer in 2018. After attending the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, Cooper returned to 1st Space Brigade and continued his education as a space operations officer by attending various space-related schools.
“What intrigues me about Army Space is the consistent change. The Army is the largest users of assets within the space domain,” Cooper said. “The challenge is applying those assets down to the unit commanders so they can be successful in their mission.”
With his role as the new commander of 2nd Space Company, Cooper hopes to foster growth and help integrate Army Space at the highest levels down to the tactical commanders, as well facilitate the transition from Army Space Support Teams to Army Space Control Planning Teams in the upcoming months.
One of his top priorities is to support the needs of his Soldiers and to improve on systems and programs that surround their career progression and their families. Additionally, he wants to set Soldiers up for success by investing in their career progression and prepare them as they transition to their next assignment or out of the Army. Lastly, he wants to integrate more mentorship for Soldiers within the company.
“All of us have a responsibility to educate and guide each other,” Cooper said. “It’s one of the most important investments we can make in our Soldiers.”
Cooper is married to his wife Amanda and has two daughters and two sons, ages 9 to 14. His hobbies and sports are being involved in his kid’s sports leagues and running.