Civil Air Patrol Bio

Chaplain (Lt Col) Eric Cooter

Deputy Chief of Chaplains

Chaplain Cooter was named Deputy Chief of Chaplains, National Headquarters, Maxwell AFB, AL on 1 September 2021.  As Deputy Chief, Chaplain Cooter assists the Chief of Chaplains with developing and implementing plans and programs for the Chaplain Corps. 

Chaplain Cooter joined CAP as a cadet in 1979 and served until 1987, earning the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award in 1984.  Chaplain Cooter completed Air Education Training Command Familiarization Course as a cadet in 1981, Chaplain Corps Region Staff College in 2016, and National Staff College in 2017.   Chaplain Cooter has served as the Squadron, Group, and Wing Chaplains in Florida Wing, and served as the Southeast Region Chaplain.  In 2020, after a ministry related relocation to Oklahoma, Chaplain Cooter was named Deputy Region Chaplain – Southwest Region. 

Chaplain Cooter is rated as a Mission Pilot, Mission Pilot Check Pilot, Instructor Pilot, Orientation Pilot, and Mission Chaplain (CAP Support).  He holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate (AMEL/ASEL, Instrument), Certified Flight Instructor Certificate (Airplane, Instrument, Gold Seal), Ground Instructor Certificate (Advanced), UAS Remote Pilot Certificate.  

Chaplain Cooter currently serves as Canon to the Ordinary for the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma.  He has also served as Canon for Ministry Development in the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida, and has served as well as Rector of two different Episcopal Churches. 

Eric is an author and has published two books: “Misfits, Pioneers, and Mission” a book about his ministry journey, and ” “A Pilot’s Logbook: A memoir of aviation adventures” a compilation of short stories about his flying adventures. Eric also loves to write short stories about aviation and is a content creator on YouTube, publishing videos about some of his and his spouse Terri’s travel adventures.


Master of Divinity, University of the South School of Theology, Sewanee, TN

Bachelor Business Administration, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN


Deputy Chief of Chaplains (NHQ 1 Sep 2021 – Present

Dep. Region Chaplain (SWR-SWR-001) 16 Jul 2020 – 26 Aug 2021

Region Chaplain (SER-SER-001) 14 Sep 2018 – 16 Jul 2020

Wing Chaplain (SER-FL-001) 29 Aug 2016 – 14 Sep 2018

Group Chaplain (SER-FL-051) 2 Mar 2015 – 29 Aug 2016

Unit Chaplain (SER-FL-051) 20 Jun 2014 – 29 Aug 2016


Air Force Organizational Excellence Award Mar 2018

Exceptional Service Award Sep 2019

Meritorious Service Award Apr 2017

Red Service Ribbon Senior Dec 2019

Senior Chaplain of the Year (Region) Sep 2016

Commander’s Commendation Award (Wing) Apr 2016

Senior Chaplain of the Year (Wing) Apr 2015

Commander’s Commendation Award (Wing) Nov 2015

Frank Brewer Memorial Aerospace Award Jun 1985

Cadet Advisory Council Ribbon Aug 1984

Gen Carl A Spaatz Aug 1984

Amelia Earhart Sep 1982

Billy Mitchell Oct 1981


CAP “Military Honors Course”  Class Academic Achievement Award June 2021

Military Chaplain Association  Distinguished Chaplain Service Award Sep 2020 


Lieutenant Colonel 09 Oct 2020

Major 09 Oct 2015

Captain 07 Jan 2002

C/Colonel 28 Aug 1984

C/Captain 30 Sept 1982

C/2nd Lieutenant 31 Oct 1981