Barbara Cooper enjoyed a highly successful career in the RAF where she rose to the rank of Air Commodore. She has a strong background in the personnel and welfare arena having been the Deputy Director Service Personnel Policy (Operations and Welfare) Ministry of Defence, where she established and headed the UK’s Prisoner of War Information Bureau at the beginning of the Gulf conflict in 2002, to identify and track British and foreign personnel and civilians holding Prisoner of War status. She worked closely with British Red Cross and International Committee of the Red Cross and where she was cited by both organisations as providing ‘benchmark practice’. She also developed the process and ceremony for repatriating those killed on operations around the world. Still in use today, Barbara (on behalf of her team) was recognised for her work as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE). She has also been Directing Staff at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Director of Personnel and Training and Commandant of the Air Cadet Organisation, in charge of over 45,000 teenagers and 15,000 adult volunteers.
Since retiring from full time Service in 2012, Barbara has volunteered with the National Trust and is currently the Senior Member of Council; also a trustee of the RAF Club and a part time Reservist Officer, dealing with Service Complaint appeals.