Colonel J. Harper Cook is a 1989 graduate of Daviess County High School. He served as the DCHS student body president his senior year. He also participated in varsity soccer, varsity baseball, and the high school choral program.
Colonel Cook was commissioned as an Army Engineer Officer upon graduation from Rhodes College, Memphis, in 1993 with a Bachelors of Arts in International Studies.
Colonel Cook’s Army career began as a float bridge and assault and obstacle platoon leader in the 2d Engineer Battalion, 2d Infantry Division, Republic of Korea. He then served as an Operations Officer and Company Executive Officer in the 10th Engineer Battalion, 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart Georgia.
While serving as an Engineer Officer, the Army selected Colonel Cook to participate in the Army’s Funded Legal Education Program, which he completed at the University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia, South Carolina. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), where he served as legal assistance officer, administrative law officer, trial counsel, and senior trial counsel. Following the attacks on 9-11, he deployed with Task Force Rakkasans as the first conventional force Army Judge Advocate in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Kandahar, Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter, he deployed with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Headquarters, Mosul, Iraq, as the Commanding General’s Command Emergency Response Fund certifying officer.
Colonel Cook’s field grade assignments include: Action Officer in the Office of The Judge Advocate General, Administrative Law Division, Pentagon; Training Officer, Battle Command Training Program, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, Kaiserslautern, Germany; United States Exchange Officer to the U.K. Army’s Operational Law Brach, Warminster, England; Regional Defense Counsel, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and Staff Judge Advocate, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He currently serves as the Army Court-Martial Judge for Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Colonel Cook is a graduate of the Army Engineer and Judge Advocate General Corps Basic Courses, the Judge Advocate General Corps Graduate Course, and the Command and General Staff College. He holds a Masters in Military Law from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate Legal Center and School and a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He is admitted to practice in South Carolina, the District of Columbia, and before the United States Supreme Court.
Colonel Cook has received numerous awards during his 23 years of military service including: the Bronze Star Medal for Service (2 awards); the Military Service Medal (6 awards); the Army Commendation Medal (2 awards); the Joint Service Achievement Medal; and the Army Achievement Medal (5 awards). He also earned the Army Staff Identification Badge as well as Airborne and Air Assault skill badges.
Colonel Cook lives in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with his wife, Mary, and their 5-year old son, William. Colonel Cook’s parents, Robert and Pam Cook, still reside in Owensboro.