Brigadier General Norman L.

Brigadier General Norman L. "Norm" Cooling, USMC, Ret.

Brigadier General Norman L. "Norm" Cooling, USMC, Ret. is the President and Founder of N. L. Cooling Strategic Consulting, LLC, which specializes in organizational assessment, process improvement, leadership development, and government engagement. Norm retired from the Marine Corps after more than 33 years of service, including 11 deployments and five combat tours as an infantry commander and operations officer. He has significant senior executive leadership experience in planning and managing operations of large, complex organizations, including serving as the deputy chief operating officer for both the U.S. Marine Corps and for U.S. European Command. He has commanded ground task forces of approximately 1,500 service members in both Afghanistan and Iraq; served as the Operations Officer for NATO's Regional Command Southwest in Helmand Province, Afghanistan; and served as the Operations Officer for the 1st Marine Division (Forward) during the final phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom I.
As the Deputy and Acting Director of Operations for U.S. European Command in 2014-16, Norm led the Command's transition from a security cooperation-focused management organization back to a warfighting capable headquarters while producing the first Theater Campaign Order for the Command since the end of the Cold War. This Order identified and directed specific, measurable actions to deter Russian incursions into NATO territory and reassure NATO allies while building their capacity and interoperability. Norm has also managed legislative affairs for both the Commandant of the Marine Corps and for NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
Since retiring from military service, Norm has provided consulting services associated with both private and government contracts. He has consulted for several small-to-medium scale businesses for government liaison and leadership development training and education. He has also served as a Distinguished Professor of Leadership at Carolina University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Norm graduated with highest distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1986, where he was both a Burke and a Cox Fund Scholar. He also holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College; a Master of Military Studies from the Marine Corps University's Command & Staff Colleges; and a Certificate in Strategic Business Planning for Executives, from the College of William & Mary. A life-long learner, he is currently a doctoral candidate in educational leadership at High Point University.
Norm and his wife of 33 years, the former Beth Peters, live in High Point, North Carolina. Norm also serves as a Blue & Gold Officer for the Naval Academy and as an usher for Wesley Memorial Methodist Church.