During their time here, our military program strives to develop Leaders of character, competence, and presence who go out into the world and make the world a better place by their actions. OMI is unique among schools: we inculcate character education with a military framework that promotes self-discipline, teamwork, and leadership.
About our Commandant:
The California National Guard assigned Lieutenant Colonel Ken Koop as Commandant in February 2015 to oversee the professional development, fitness, and discipline of the corps of cadets.
LTC Koop grew up in Richmond, California. After High School, he enlisted in the Army Reserve at Oakland Army Base while attending UC Davis. After graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army. Returning to the Bay Area, he worked as a production supervisor/environmental coordinator while completing a certificate in hazardous materials management from the UC Berkeley Extension. LTC Koop went on full-time duty for the California National Guard in 1999, rising to Deputy Director of Environmental Programs before transitioning to OMI.
LTC Koop’s military assignments include service in the 319th Transportation Brigade; 7th PSYOP Group; 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 7thInfantry Division; Observer/Controller with the 91st Division; multiple command and staff assignments in 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment (Air Assault); and Operations Officer in 1st Battalion, 149th Armor Regiment. In 2006 then-Major Koop commanded the 1114th Transportation Company and mobilized the unit for service in Iraq. MAJ Koop went on to serve as Information Operations Officer for the 79th Infantry Brigade, then deployed to Kosovo in command of a multinational NATO peacekeeping unit, his fourth command assignment. Upon his return, LTC Koop participated in several multinational exercises, supporting the US Army’s efforts to build strategic military partners around the world. The exercises took him to Ukraine, Thailand, and India to work side-by-side with the armies of those countries. LTC Koop commanded a combat advisor team in Afghanistan, building the competence and capability of an Afghan Police Commando unit supporting the Italian contingent of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF). He is currently assigned as the base operations officer for the Maneuver Training Center at Camp Roberts.
LTC Koop’s military education includes the Chemical Officer Basic Course, Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and the Command and General Staff College. His civilian education includes a Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering from UC Davis, Certificate in Hazardous Materials Management from the UC Berkeley Extension, and Masters in Business from the University of Southern California.
LTC Koop’s military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal with 9 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Humanitarian Service Medal, NATO Medal (two awards), Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon (7th Award), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Pathfinder Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.
LTC Koop is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the National Infantry Association and a member of the National Guard Association of the United States. He is currently second vice-president of the National Guard Association of California. LTC Koop and his wife, Mai, live in Vacaville with their two daughters.