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A month into his position as president of the Navy SEAL Foundation, retired Master Chief Dave Cooper has been placed on administrative leave, according to a story originally reported by the Virginian-Pilot.
The suspension allegedly stems from a U.S. News and World Report article published earlier this month, in which Cooper gave mission details and criticized his former leadership.
A spokeswoman for the foundation would not confirm Cooper’s job status, nor that there is an investigating underway.
“It is our policy not to discuss personnel matters,” foundation CEO Robin King said in a statement to Navy Times. “We are solely focused on executing our mission to provide immediate, ongoing and unwavering support to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.”
Cooper, 49, spent 25 years in the Navy, including a stint as command master chief of Naval Special Warfare Development Group, also known as SEAL Team 6, according to the Pilot. He retired last year as the CMC at Fleet Training Center Dam Neck in Virginia Beach, Va., the Pilot reported.
His awards and decorations include a Silver Star; four Bronze Stars, including three with a “V” device for valor; three Combat Action Ribbons; and two Presidential Unit Citations, according to Navy personnel records.
In an email exchange with the Pilot, Cooper called the article a “gross misrepresentation,” but a spokeswoman for U.S. News and World Report told the newspaper that it stands by the published article.
Cooper joined the SEAL Foundation in October. His job revolves around public relations and building relationships with donors and constituents, according to a foundation press release from October.
“We know that he will be successful in representing the foundation publicly and effectively conveying the needs of the [Naval Special Warfare] community,” King said in the release.