Master Chief Cooper was born on August 21, in Ashland, Ohio. She grew up in Louisiana and graduated from high school.  After a year of college she enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
Trained as a Cryptologic Technician (Technical) (CTT), she had tours at Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Hanza, Okinawa and NCS Rota, Spain before transferring to NTTC Corry Station, Pensacola Florida for duty as a non-Morse instructor. While there, she also performed duties as Company Commander, Computer Programming Instructor and Morse Instructor. She qualified as a Master Training Specialist and was selected for Chief.

Her first duty as a Chief was on the staff of Commander, Naval Security Group, Washington, D.C. as the Cryptologic Reserves Operational Coordinator. At mid-tour, she moved to the Research and Development Department. During this tour, she attended the Senior Military Cryptologic Supervisors Course and was selected for Senior Chief.

On her way to NSGA Misawa, Japan in 1988, she attended Senior Enlisted Academy and was awarded the City of Newport Award for Academic Excellence. In Misawa, she served as the Collection Department LCPO. While there, she became the first female Cryptologic Technician Master Chief. Master Chief Cooper’s next move was to NSGA Edzell, Scotland, serving first as the CLASSIC WIZARD Division Chief and later as the Operations Department LCPO. During this tour she became a Cryptologic Technician (Collection) (CTR).

In 1994, she moved to London for duty on the staff of Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Navy, Europe. She was the Command Master Chief, CINCUSNAVEUR Staff while also serving as the Tactical Systems Coordinator, Director for Cryptology; and Senior Enlisted Leader, Director, Naval Security Group Europe.

Selected for the Command Master Chief Program in 1996, she received orders to the USS BOXER (LHD 4) in 1997 for duty as the 3M Coordinator. In 1999, she transferred to the USS HOPPER (DDG 70) and served as the CMC until her selection as the Naval Security Group CNO-Directed CMC. She served in this capacity from August 2000 to August 2004.

Master Chief Cooper’s decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (2), Navy Commendation Medal (4 awards), Navy Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Commendation (2 awards), Meritorious Unit Commendation (2 awards), Navy Good Conduct Medal (5 awards), Battle E (2 awards), National Defense Service Medal (2 awards), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (3 awards), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (3 awards) and Overseas Service Ribbon (12 awards).

Happy birthday Master Chief!

Source: NCVA: Echoes of our Past