COL Brian Cook
Former BlackHorse3 (2004-2006)
Director of Theater Strategy, Department of Military Strategy, Planning & Operations, US Army War College
Colonel Brian Cook is the Director of Theater Strategy at the US Army War College. An Armor Cavalryman and 1990 West Point Graduate, his education includes a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy and a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. His military education includes the Armor Officer Basic Course, USMC Amphibious Warfare Course, Turkish Command and General Staff College, US Army Command and General Staff College, and the Naval War College.
COL Cook has served in every leadership position from platoon leader to battalion commander deploying 5 times in support of OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD/STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, NEW DAWN and ENDURING FREEDOM with the 11th ACR (Blackhorse), First Infantry Division and III Corps. When the Regiment received word, in July 2004, that it would send two Squadrons and the Regimental Headquarters to support OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, Brian was the Regimental S3. One of the few Desert Storm veterans in the Regiment, Brian knew what it took to succeed in combat and under the insightful guidance of COL Peter Bayer (BH6) set the Regiment on a path to achieve it. After the deployment, then-MAJ Cook took over as Lizard03 (the Operations Officer for the NTC). Soon after, he received word to PSC to Fort Bliss, TX - the soon-to-be home of the First Armored Division. Following battalion command in the 1st Armored Division, COL Cook served as Deputy Chief of Current Operations (D/J-33) for United States Forces – Iraq (USF-I). He returned to states in the summer of 2011 to attend Naval War College before proceeding to Fort Hood, Texas to serve as Chief of Future Operations (G35) for III Corps Headquarters. During that tour, the Corps deployed to Kabul. There, COL Cook served as Deputy Director of Future Operations for ISAF Joint Command (IJC). After returning from Afghanistan, COL Cook transitioned to the Pentagon where he managed the Army’s leader development policy and resourcing as the G-3/5/7’s Chief of Leader Development. In July 2015, COL Cook moved from the Pentagon to Carlisle Barracks to become the Army War College G3 (Chief of Operations) where he served until early 2017 before commencing his instructor career in the War College’s Resident Course.
COL Cook’s awards and decorations include four (4) Bronze Stars, five (5) Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Commendation Medal, five (5) Army Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals, Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medals, and the Combat Action Badge.
Brian’s married to Dr. Sara Gilliam, a PhD in Cognitive Science who just completed her second Masters in Mental Health Counseling. They have three children.