August 4, 2022

Army Veteran David F. Cooper is today’s Veteran of the Day.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran David F. Cooper, who served as a helicopter pilot during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

David F. Cooper was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He enlisted in the Army in 1985 and completed basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He then attended the Warrant Officer Basic Course and Army Flight School at Fort Rucker, Alabama, followed by the AH-64 Apache Aircraft Qualification Course. Cooper flew combat missions during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and later led Gen. Schwarzkopf’s airborne escort for the armistice negotiations at Safwan Airfield. In 1994, he volunteered for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), also known as the Night Stalkers, based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Cooper completed an undergraduate degree at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in professional aeronautics. He continued to serve in the Global War on Terror.

Cooper went from being a fully mission-qualified pilot to becoming a flight lead. He deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan at least 23 times. On Nov. 27, 2006, while operating against an enemy force northeast of Taji, Iraq, Cooper engaged the enemy without any protection or regard for his personal safety. While encountering heavy anti-aircraft fire, he continued to battle advancing enemy forces, destroying multiple gun trucks and killing at least 10 enemy personnel. For his actions, he received the Distinguished Service Cross; it was the first ever awarded to a Night Stalker in the regiment’s history, and to date, Cooper is the only living aviator to have received it.

Cooper has received numerous additional honors and recognition for his service in the Army. He was also awarded an Army Distinguished Service Medal, a Silver Star, a Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Stars, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Air Medals for Valor, four Air Medals and an Army Commendation Medal. Cooper was selected as the 160th command chief warrant officer in 2011 and served in that position until he retired in 2012.

We honor his service.


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Writers: Raghava Akkinepally, Alexandra Kaiser

Editors: Alexander Reza, Annabelle Colton, Theresa Lyon

Researchers: Giacomo Ferrari, David Charles Deprez

Graphic Designer: Kiki Kelley

By DME Interns

Share this story

Published on Aug. 4, 2022

Estimated reading time is 1.8 min.

Views to date: 1,498

3 Comments

  1. Bob McNeal August 6, 2022 at 5:49 pm

    Thank you for your distinguished service to our nation, Dave. And thank you for your continued service through your work with SOF.

    Well done.

    Best wishes,
    Bob McNeal & Jim Kinsella
    SOF Supporters

  2. Blondie chapman August 5, 2022 at 3:04 am

    How do I apply for free internet?

  3. Edward B Cissell August 4, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    I just read about Mr. Cooper… I’m a veteran. I wish I could simply tell Mr, Copper… Thank you for your service.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • Army Veteran Hank Welzel served in the Korean War, but his military experience began in the German Army during World War II.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Ronald L. Green, who was the 18th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps.

  • Navy Veteran Calvin Leon Graham became the youngest World War II soldier at the age of 12, and the youngest recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.