Chief Warrant Officer 5 David F. Cooper, an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter pilot with 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross during a ceremony July 11 at Fort Campbell, Ky.
He is being awarded the DSC for flying over a firefight in central Iraq in 2006, according to a news release from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. His action drew enemy fire away from special operations troops on the ground who were outnumbered against a heavily armed enemy, the release said.
The DSC is the Army’s second-highest award for combat valor and is awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy of the U.S. during military operations.
This is the eleventh DSC to be awarded for actions in Iraq since the beginning of operations there.
To date, Cooper is the only aviator to receive the DSC while still alive for actions in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
His other awards include a Silver Star, a Distinguished Flying Cross and two Bronze Star medals.
Cooper, who joined the Army in 1985, currently serves as the 160th SOAR regiment senior warrant officer coaching and mentoring more than 340 special operations warrant officers in the unit.
Adm. Eric T. Olson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, and USASOC commander Lt. Gen. Robert W. Wagner, will preside over the ceremony and present the awards, the release said.