Center for SEAL and SWCC
Captain Dane Thorleifson
Commanding Officer
Center for SEAL and SWCC

Commanding Officer

Dane Thorleifson is a native of Tucson, Arizona. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1988 and Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training Class 156. Captain Thorleifson is a Joint Specialty Officer and has a Masters of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.

Captain Thorleifson has served in various operational assignments including Assistant Platoon Commander assignments (SEAL Team Three), SEAL Platoon Commander (SEAL Team One), Dry Deck Shelter Platoon Commander (SEAL Delivery Team One), Tactical Development and Evaluation Element Leader (Naval Special Warfare Development Group), Commanding Officer (SEAL Team One), Commander, Special Operations Task Force, West (Operation Iraqi Freedom), and Commanding Officer (Naval Special Warfare Unit Ten).

Captain Thorleifson’s staff assignments include Maritime Operations Planner and Joint Operations Center Chief (SOCSOUTH), Executive Officer (Naval Special Warfare Unit Four), Enlisted Community Manager for the SEAL, SWCC, EOD, and Diver Communities (Naval Personnel Command), Chief Staff Officer, Special Operations Directorate, Iraq (Multi National Forces, Iraq), Chief Staff Officer/Executive Officer (Naval Special Warfare Center), Chief of Staff (Naval Special Warfare Command), and has most recently been assigned Commanding Officer (Center for SEAL and SWCC.

His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal.

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Mr. Ronald D. Cooper
Executive Director
Center for SEAL and SWCC

Executive Director

Mr. Cooper is the Executive Director, Center for SEAL and SWCC, which is the Naval Special Warfare component for professional development and career management of all officer and enlisted Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC) personnel. The Center reports directly to Commander, Naval Education and Training Command with additional reporting responsibility to Naval Special Warfare Command.

Raised in Santa Clara, CA, he joined the United States Navy in 1978, graduating from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Training on 07 December 1979. During his 27-year naval career, he completed numerous senior leadership positions and overseas deployments; to include Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and Bosnia as the Senior Advisor of a six-man Joint Commissioned Observer (JCO) Team in support of Operation Joint Guard.

Mr. Cooper’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of the State of New York and a Master of Arts in Business Management from the University of Redlands School of Business. He is a Senior Executive Fellow from Harvard University’s, John F. Kennedy School of Government and a graduate of the Advanced Management Program from Harvard Business School. Additionally, he has earned the Naval Special Warfare Insignia, Naval Parachutist Insignia, Senior and Master Naval Parachutist and Master Training Specialist Qualifications.

His personal awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), Presidential Unit Citation, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Combat Action Ribbon and numerous other campaign and unit awards.

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Master Chief Petty Officer K.C. Welker
Command Master Chief
Center for SEAL and SWCC

Command Master Chief

Master Chief Welker is a native of Marysville, California. He enlisted in the Navy in February 1985. After basic training and Hull Technician “A” school he attended Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL Training Class 138. He was then shipped out to Fort Benning, Georgia to attend Basic Airborne Parachutist Training.

His operational assignments include (SEAL Team Four) deploying to the Persian Gulf and Panama, Parachute Loft, Regional Survey Team, small arms weapons and tactics instructor (Naval Special Warfare Center), DET Kuwait Naval Base Senior Enlisted Advisor (Naval Special Warfare Group One), OIC Camp Billy Machen Desert Warfare Training Complex (NSWG-1), and Senior Enlisted Advisor for NATO Special Operations Forces Afghanistan.

Master Chief Welker’s staff assignments include Training Officer (Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center Springfield, Missouri), Leading Chief Petty Officer (Naval Special Warfare SEAL Det. 119), two time Command Master Chief (Naval Special Warfare Group Eleven), Secretary of the Navy’s Policy Board for Reserve Affairs, and is currently the Command Master Chief (Center for SEAL and SWCC).

His personal awards include: Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medals, Navy Commendation Medals, Navy Achievement Medals and various unit and service awards.

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