Navy SEAL Museum Ft. Pierce

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Master Chief (SEAL) Dave Cooper, USN (Ret.) to Serve as Keynote Speaker for Museum’s Memorial Day Service

Fort Pierce, Fla. – February 7, 2023 – The Navy SEAL Museum today announced Master Chief (SEAL) Dave Cooper, USN (Ret.) as the Memorial Day Ceremony keynote speaker. Master Chief Cooper brings more than 25 years of insight and experience from the SEAL Teams to help honor the fallen at the May 29 ceremony at 9:00 AM.

“The diversity and longevity of Dave Cooper’s military career speaks volumes about his commitment to country,” said Museum Executive Director, Commander (SEAL) Grant Mann, USN (Ret), “but the success of the operations he led exemplifies his outstanding leadership and character. Master Chief Cooper has lived a life of service and is well acquainted with sacrifice.”

Dave Cooper spent 19 of his 25-year SEAL Team career at the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. Having served at the forefront of some of the most significant Special Operations missions in United States history, Master Chief Cooper has unique and profound perspective. Founder of health consulting and coaching company Verge, he now teaches others resiliency and responsiveness through the invaluable lessons he learned during his time in the Teams.

The Museum’s Memorial Day Service will be held at the Museum’s Memorial Wall. The annual Flag Retirement Ceremony will begin at 8:00 AM in advance of the official ceremony. The Museum will be open on Memorial Day from 9:00 AM until 12:00 noon with complimentary admission. In anticipation of a capacity crowd, early arrival is encouraged to secure a seat. More information can be found at

Master Chief (SEAL) Dave Cooper, USN (Ret.)

About Dave Cooper
Dave Cooper was born and raised in Manheim, PA. In 1987 he earned a BS (emphasis in Molecular Biology) and entered the military that same year specifically to become a US Navy SEAL. During his 25-year career, Dave spent nearly nineteen of those at the prestigious Naval Special Warfare Development Group, conducting combat operations throughout Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Dave’s early operational history includes deployments in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. In 1993, he was selected for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. From 1994 to 2012, he completed dozens of deployments, both in and out of major theaters of war, to include such places as Haiti, Bosnia, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He has led extensively in combat at all levels and has executed missions spanning the full gamut of Naval Special Warfare capabilities.

During his tenure at the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, Dave and his teammates successfully executed some of the most significant Special Operations missions in the history of the U.S. Military. From September 2009 to September 2011, Dave served as the Command Master Chief of this storied unit. In a role that took him from the battlefield one minute to the interagency boardroom the next, Dave’s influence, interpersonal skills and leadership were instrumental to the unparalleled success of this elite unit.

For his distinguished service, Dave was awarded numerous unit and personal awards, to include a Silver Star, 6 Bronze Stars with “V” devices, 2 Distinguished Meritorious Service Medal, 2 Meritorious Service Medals, 4 Presidential Unit Citations and numerous other joint and individual awards. As Dave proudly notes: Every medal we wear on our chests belongs in no small part to our teammates, because it’s from our teammates—and for them—that we draw our measure of courage.

After retiring, Dave earned his master’s degree at the University of Oxford and HEC Paris. He is currently pursuing a PhD in complex adaptive systems science—where physics meets biology—at Arizona State University’s College of Global Futures. Dave is currently the founder of Verge, a boutique coaching and consulting company whose mission blends the concepts gleaned from complex systems science to form a unique brand of organizational health consulting and coaching. The company’s mission, quite simply, is to blend the science of complexity with the art of complexity—how one contends with it, that is—that organizations and people might become more responsive, resilient, and sustainable together.

Dave is also featured in the best-selling book The Culture Code, a story of some of the most innovative leaders and researchers in the U.S. He is married to the inimitable Ms. Sonia Cooper, the Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of Sentara Princess Anne Hospital. The couple has 3 boys, ages 18, 14, and 11.

About The Navy SEAL Museum
The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum is the only museum dedicated solely to preserving the history of the U.S. Navy SEALs and their predecessors. Located in Fort Pierce, Florida, the Museum resides on the training grounds of the original Navy combat divers, the Frogmen. Built to honor the men who served with fortitude and ingenuity, the Navy UDT-SEAL Museum first opened its doors on Veterans Day in 1985. From humble beginnings, the facility has experienced tremendous growth, achieving national stature in 2007. The main objective of the Museum remains the promotion of public education by providing the opportunity to explore the history of the Navy SEALs through interactive exhibits, while honoring the fallen at the SEAL Memorial and caring for those warriors’ families through Trident House Charities.


The Navy SEAL Museum
For further information, contact:
Elaine Ryan
Phone: (772) 595-5845
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