CW5 Cooper to Receive the Distinguished Service Cross
RELEASE NUMBER: 080703-01
DATE POSTED: JULY 3, 2008
MEDIA ADVISORY: 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) Soldier to receive Distinguished Service Cross
160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment Public Affairs
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (USASOC News Service, July 3, 2008) – A 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) Soldier will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross during a ceremony at 2 p.m. July 11 at the Personnel Processing Center, Bldg. 7162, on Fort Campbell, Ky.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 David F. Cooper is being awarded the DSC for extraordinary heroism when he selflessly chose to fly as a single attack helicopter at low levels over an active firefight to draw enemy fire away from United States Special Operations ground forces on the scene. He acted with complete disregard for his own safety as he single handedly took aerial action against an armed and numerically superior enemy during a combat engagement in central Iraq in 2006.
The DSC is the Army’s second highest award for combat valor and is awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States during military operations. This is the eleventh DSC to be awarded for actions in Iraq since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. To date, Cooper is the only aviator to receive the DSC non-posthumously for actions in support of the War on Terror.
Adm. Eric T. Olson, Commander, United States Special Operations Command, and Lt. Gen. Robert W. Wagner, Commander, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, will preside over the ceremony and present the awards.
CW4 Keith Yoakum (A Company 1-227th AVN) has been the only other aviator to receive this award during OIF as noted, posthumously.
It is refreshing to see that the Army has chosen to recognize valor as exhibited by Soldiers that survived the action they were involved in. Let's hope we see more of these in the future.