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« Yeh I know, I know. I'm just still not used to being this responsible you know? Like, all of a sudden it's my fault if things go wrong.
Matthew Cooper
»


Matthew Cooper is the main protagonist of the Harvest Red campaign in ArmA 2.

Background

« Cooper is quick to befriend new recruits and is well-liked among his peers. Should MSgt Miles seek a commission I would have no hesitation in recommending Sergeant Cooper for Team Leader.
Captain Shaftoe's evaluation of Cooper
»


A native New Yorker, Cooper dropped out of college in order to pursue a career in the United States Marine Corps.

He would later be promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant, and also joined the Corps' Force Reconnaissance special forces unit and become assigned as the grenadier (and eventually, team leader) of callsign Razor Team.

During his time in the USMC, he has completed a large variety of training courses and modules, ranging from the Corps' School of Infantry (SOI), commissioned officer training (TBS), maritime security (SMTC), the Basic Reconnaissance Course (BRC), as well as Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training (SERE).

Cooper is well noted for his efficiency and ability to get any task accomplished with minimal causalities, which has earned him the respect of his peers (particularly his team leader, Patrick Miles). Even the CDF's highest-ranking commander, General Begunov, is willing to offer and entrust Cooper with command of the entire army.

Harvest Red (2009)

Following the outbreak of hostilities between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in the Green Sea region nation of Chernarus, Cooper; along with the rest of Razor Team, are deployed to the country as part of the USMC's 27th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). Their orders were to assist in the counteroffensive against ChDKZ forces, and to quell the insurgent uprising.

Before the actual invasion could commence, Cooper's team is sent on a preliminary mission to laser mark a ChDKZ communications outpost for CAS jets to hit. The outpost was located in Pusta, a small village deep in the woodlands just off the main coastline.

Under the cover of darkness, Cooper's team infiltrate the village after being dropped off via helicopter at a nearby clearing, and proceed to sweep through the village, swiftly taking out several insurgents in the process.

To his disgust, Cooper finds the village's doctor being severely beaten by two insurgents. He quickly eliminates both and frees the doctor, who informs him of several more villagers in the nearby barn. One female villager in particular that was well-known to the doctor, was being abused by her captors, and urges Cooper to rescue her as soon as he could.

Thanks to Cooper, the remaining insurgents are also killed and all surviving villagers (who turn out to be the only ones left alive) are freed. Cooper proceeds to escort the female villager and doctor to a nearby shelter to hide for the night. The doctor also tells Cooper of the presence of a mass grave nearby as well, which Cooper's team soon discover and report back.

« Miles... I uh... Oh my god. I, uh, I got a mass grave here 8-Ball.
Cooper discovers the fate of Pusta's other captives
»

Returning to their primary objective, Cooper relays back to Miles that the risk of collateral damage was too high for an airstrike. Miles is authorised to change the plan to manually demolishing the site instead, and Cooper proceeds to plant satchels on the site.

Instead of extraction back to the USS Khe Sanh however, Cooper's team are reassigned to assist in laser marking priority targets for artillery. Another Force Recon unit, callsign Sabre Team, had been compromised by the insurgents and needed help in completing their objective.

The team regroups, and proceed through the woods to a cliff overlooking another small village below the mountain of Pik Kozlova. Cooper is assigned to designate targets with his laser marker, and successfully destroys all of the priority targets.

As morning approaches, Cooper's team moves towards the shore to regroup with the main assault force. The intervention was going smoothly and within hours of the invasion, most of the country returns to government control.

During the Battle of Chernogorsk, Cooper's team are sent to relieve a Marine platoon that was pinned down by an insurgent sniper. They are then sent to raid a warehouse where the ChDKZ's leader, Gregori Lopotev, was last spotted hiding in.

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Razor Team capture Lopotev and his subordinates

Cooper leads the attack while Miles stays behind to oversee the battle alongside their commander. Miles eventually regroups with Cooper after he and the other three members of Razor seize the warehouse, successfully capturing Lopotev and his senior officers.

A CDF officer soon arrives and announces his intent to "escort" the insurgent leader back to government lines. Miles agrees to the officer's plan, but only on the condition that Razor Team also accompany his squad.

Cooper's team boards the truck and are supposedly driven in the direction of CDF forces, but the truck is suddenly hit by an explosion. Knocked out by the blast, an unconscious Cooper is dragged to an unknown warehouse and is restrained. Upon waking up, Cooper immediately discovers that his team was betrayed by the CDF officer, who turned out to be a double agent working for the Chedaki.

Miles is suddenly dragged and presented in front of Lopotev. Lopotev pulls out a handgun and proceeds to fire a bullet directly into the team leader's head, killing him instantly to Cooper's horror. Completely helpless, Cooper can do nothing but watch Lopotev and his aide-de-camp, Mikola Bardak, escape from the warehouse as Miles' motionless body lays on the ground in front of him.

Just as another Chedaki officer was preparing to execute Cooper and the rest of Razor Team, a blinding flash and multiple gunshots down the officer and remaining insurgents in the warehouse. The attackers, who turn out to be Sabre Team, proceed to clear the warehouse. Their team leader asks Cooper of Lopotev's whereabouts and checks on Miles' condition, but it was plainly obvious that he was long gone.

Team Leader

« I don't think leave's necessary sir, we're staying.
Cooper firmly resolves to continue Razor's deployment
»

There was no time to mourn the loss of his comrade however. Cooper is promoted to the position of team leader by Captain Shaftoe, and is assigned the task of leading the team on a manhunt throughout the South Zagorian countryside.

Arma2-campaign-harvestred-03

Bardak is captured once again by Razor Team

« Cooper: Yeh, yeh I guess it's my call huh?
Rodriguez: Fuckin' ay Team Leader. What's the plan?
Cooper is promoted to team leader
»

After encountering a streak of several dead ends in their search for intel, Cooper manages a lucky break and is informed by Shaftoe of Bardak's sighting. The latter was attempting to flee north in a red car towards the remaining ChDKZ-held regions of South Zagoria. Ambushing the unsuspecting officer, Bardak is soon captured by Cooper and brought back to government lines for interrogation.

Two weeks after Bardak's capture, Cooper's team is dispatched to the north of the country. They were to link up with Shaftoe at FOB Manhattan, an outpost established by the MEU to provide security in the neighbouring areas. Upon arrival, Shaftoe assigns them to search for additional insurgent camps scattered throughout the woodlands, confiscate weapon caches owned by Chernarussian National Party (NAPA) guerilla fighters, and to find the main base that was located somewhere in the region.

Along the way, he encounters the doctor and female villager from Pusta at Krasnostav: Dr. Josef Sova and Valentina Galkina. The two warmly greet Cooper and thank him for saving them. They also pass along some "hints" to Cooper to help him in his search for the base, and suggest that he look for a priest in the village of Gorka. Arriving at Gorka's local church, the priest, Father Fyodor, is discovered by Cooper to be concealing a cache of weapons for the guerillas.

« Cooper: So, nothing here? Then what's all this? You telling me you didn't know?
Fyodor: Please, you don't understand. You don't live here. You don't know what it's like! NAPA ask us to keep this here for them, just so they can help us. Please. Leave them with us. You see what the Chedaki do to us here? The CDF are not helping us here. You Americans are not helping us here. NAPA are helping us here. Let them help us. Please!
Cooper: OK Father, I won't report this, but you have to help me now. You can keep the weapons, but I want to know everything you know about NAPA movements and operations.
Cooper overlooks the cache's discovery
»

Though he's under strict orders to do so, Cooper agrees to ignore the Father's contraband. Deeply thankful to the American, Fyodor informs Cooper of three villagers in the town of Novy Sobor who had ties to the guerilla organisation.

Cooper finds the trio and begins to interrogate them for the locations of the ChDKZ camps. Thankful for their intel, he sternly warns them against going after the camps themselves, or else he would report the presence of their caches.

After destroying several more Chedaki camps, Cooper's team eventually runs into the main base and reports back its discovery to Shaftoe. After awaiting the arrival of additional Marine reinforcements, Cooper's team launch their attack on the base, swiftly crushing its defenders and razing it to the ground.

« Nikitin: Please! Oh god-oh god-oh god! Have mercy! Don't kill me! Oh god no! I don't want to die! Please no!
Cooper: Like your pals had for Miles? Forget it Niktin, you're a dead man.
Nikitin begs Cooper to spare his life
»

While searching through the rubble for additional intel, Cooper's team find the CDF officer that betrayed them: Nikola Nikitin. Laying on the ground bleeding heavily from his wounds, the insurgent pleads for Cooper to save him.

Pleased to find at least one of the culprits responsible for Miles' death on his deathbed, Cooper ignores the cries and simply rummages through Nikitin's pockets for intel. He finds the signed operational orders from Lopotev himself, and leaves the traitor to bleed to death.

With the base destroyed and all objectives completed, Cooper's team prepare to head back to Manhattan. Before they could however, Shaftoe urgently radios in to inform them of a bombing in Russia at the heart of its capital, Moscow. He's also saddened to hear that Sova and Galkina had been killed in seemingly coordinated uprisings throughout the northern region. With their success dampened by the string of bad news, Cooper returns to Manhattan in low spirits yet again.

A Turn For The Worse
To make matters worse, the MEU's mandate to deploy in Chernarus was revoked and all USMC forces were to leave the country within 24 hours. By the end of the day, most of the task force had returned to the MEU's ship, with Cooper's men, Sabre Team, and a skeleton crew of Marines left at Manhattan.

Shaftoe assigns Cooper with one final task to retrieve documents from a house near the FOB owned by a Chedaki defector who had come forth with vital information regarding the Moscow bombings. His team immediately departs for the documents and soon runs into an ambush by several insurgents. The attackers are taken out and the documents are safely retrieved, with the house itself being demolished by satchels planted by Cooper.

On their way back, Sabre's team leader radios back to taunt Cooper for being so slow in returning to the FOB. Before Cooper could reply with another insult, Sabre's transmission is cut off and leaves Cooper puzzled.

Arma2-campaign-harvestred-04

Razor Team witness the aftermath of Karelin's attack on Manhattan

Returning to the FOB, Cooper is horrified to discover the entire base in smouldering ruins, with the corpses of Sabre Team scattered around the base. Sabre's team leader however, had somehow survived and motioned for Cooper to come over. Just before dying, the Marine relays to Cooper all he could of the identity of their attackers; a Russian Spetsnaz team led by a ruthless blond-haired man. The Spetsnaz attacked the base in search of Cooper, calling both him and his team members out by their names.

Hunter And Hunted
A band of guerilla fighters who turn out to be from NAPA, soon turn up and also back Sabre's story about the attackers being Russian. With all American personnel being deemed as persona non grata by the Russian military, the situation was beginning to degrade rapidly. Thoroughly confounded by the sudden chain of events, Cooper immediately radios back to Shaftoe for further orders.

Arma2-campaign-harvestred-12

The guerillas agree to help Razor Team evade detection from the Russians.

« I mean what the Christ is going on sir? Are we fair game for any Red who wants to take a shot?
Cooper demands answers from Shaftoe
»

Shaftoe was unable to assist Razor Team or provide any answers however, so Cooper resorts to getting aid from the guerilla fighters instead. They agree to help smuggle Cooper's team away from the ruined FOB. Exhausted both physically and mentally, Cooper falls asleep in the cramped car thinking that despite the day's events, he and his team were safe.

However, Cooper is soon awoken abruptly by the driver, who warns them of a Russian military-manned checkpoint ahead of where they were to rendezvous with their NAPA contacts. Forced to flee on foot, Cooper's team are annoyed to discover that night had fallen, and that USMC forces would have completely left the country by now.

His team are divided on who to turn to now. Chad Rodriguez and Brian O'Hara argue that they ought to turn to the guerillas for help since the CDF couldn't be trusted (due to the risk posed by double agents like Nikitin). Randolph Sykes disagrees, and states they should stick with the local authorities instead. Cooper agrees with Sykes, and chooses to side with the CDF.

They make their way across the heavily Russian-enforced countryside under the cover of darkness towards the town of Zelenogorsk. Just as Cooper's team reaches the outskirts of the town, they're intercepted by a patrol of CDF soldiers who immediately take the Marines to the nearby foward command post.

« Uhm... I'm not sure sir, it's... It's getting out of hand here. Simmons was right, the Russians are definitely after us.
Cooper relays their status back to Shaftoe
»

The commander reveals that Razor Team's arrival had been expected, and that a direct line of communications to Shaftoe was being kept open. Shaftoe orders Cooper to covertly provide assistance to the CDF in their attempt to subvert the Russians, and to continue their mission to capture Lopotev.

Undercover
Assigned to take charge of the counteroffensive, Cooper leads a small platoon of CDF troops to take the nearby town of Pogorevka the next morning. He succeeds in recapturing the town from the ChDKZ, and also provides help to some locals from the village of Vyshnoye which was about to be raided by the insurgents.

In the process of assembling troops to take the twin towns of Stary Sobor and Novy Sobor, Cooper realises that the offensive would be able to proceed more smoothly if they were working alongside NAPA as well. He radios CDF intelligence officer, Tomas Marny, of whether there was a way the two sides could come to an agreement.

Knowing that the NAPA leader, Prizrak, was an extremist who opposed both the Chedaki and the CDF, Cooper suggested that perhaps it was time for the warlord to be "removed" out of the equation. Marny agrees with Cooper, but remains hesitant due to the risk of a further fallout in relations between the government and NAPA should the CDF be implicated in an assassination on their leader.

« Marny: But Razor, are you sure you want to do this? Maybe we are making some horrible translation mistake?
Cooper: Uh, we're gonna kill Prizrak, right?
Marny: Uh... Copy that Razor team! Christ... I will tell Yidash to expect you at 072-083, I know NAPA have a camp there that he feels safe using. OK?
Cooper's blunt acceptance to Marny's plans
»

Cooper volunteers to do it in place of the CDF instead (much to Marny's shock), and agrees to meet with a NAPA contact that Marny knew from within the organisation. The contact tells Cooper of Prizrak's location at a lumber mill just south of Novy Sobor, and the Cooper's team immediately heads towards it.

Revelations
To Cooper's confusion, he finds Father Fyodor; the same priest he had helped in Gorka, waiting at the lumber mill.

Arma2-campaign-harvestred-13

Razor Team confronts Prizrak.

"Fyodor" reveals himself as Prizrak, and tells Cooper that he knew of the NAPA contact's plan to help the Marines assassinate him all along. He waited at the mill not to fight the Americans, but to talk to them instead. He begins to explain his plans and reasons for opposing the alliance between the CDF and NAPA.

« What the fuck has Stalin got to do with anything? There are other ways to get the Russian soldiers out. We're working on it. We just need time!
Cooper response to Prizrak's delusional plans
»

Cooper is thoroughly dismayed by Fyodor's views however, and refuses to agree with his insane delusions. Disappointed, but not surprised at his reaction, Prizrak presents one final ultimatum to Cooper: kill him or let him go. Reluctantly, Cooper opens fire on Prizrak and kills the warlord as he begins to walk away.

While not particularly happy with his "accomplishment", Cooper reassures his team members (and additionally, himself) that it was the "right" thing to do; even if the ethics behind it were highly questionable. He returns to his primary task of liberating the remaining two towns from Chedaki control.

After seizing Novy Sobor, Cooper runs into the same trio of villagers that he had met days earlier (who were now heavily wounded). The three inform him that they had been tortured by a blond-haired Russian named "Karelin", who Cooper now rightly suspects was the same one that launched the attack on FOB Manhattan.

The Big Push

« Sykes: What's the word, Coops? We done here or what?
Cooper: Uh, not exactly... We're pretty fucking far from done actually. USEUCOM are real happy with the CDF gains around Sobor... so pleased in fact that our command is being extended.
Hours before the main offensive to retake the rest of South Zagoria, Cooper updates his team on their current situation
»
Arma2-campaign-harvestred-05

Razor Team discuss their options as the CDF/NAPA prepare to deliver a final blow to the ChDKZ

Even so, the CDF's offensive was a more vital priority for the time being. Keeping Karelin in mind, Cooper focused his efforts in helping the CDF retake the entire region. Since Prizrak was now out of the way, he was also vital to maintaining the alliance with the NAPA guerillas as well.

Highly impressed with Cooper's accomplishments and how much had managed to accomplish in just under 48 hours, the CDF commander, General Begunov, offers Cooper direct control of the entire army. Cooper politely refuses however, as he and his team preferred to work alone.

Providing recon and tactical support, Razor Team greatly assist in the CDF's offensive, with town after town being easily liberated by government troops and the Chedaki being routinely routed on the battlefield.

After capturing the town of Mogilevka, Cooper is contacted by Marny who tells him of the presence of a Chedaki defector in the town. The man, named Valery Pavelka, claimed to have knowledge of the whereabouts of the ChDKZ's elusive leader.

Escorting Valery back to the main CDF base, he reveals to Marny that there was indeed a ChDKZ communications outpost on Skalisty island just the south-east off the main coast. Cooper's team immediately heads off in its direction and begin to infiltrate the island.

« Holy shit! That's Lopotev! It's him for sure! Listen up everyone the Fox is here! I have Lopotev in sight!
Cooper finds Lopotev at last
»

He soon spots Lopotev and after brief firefight, eliminates his bodyguards and captures the insurgent leader.

Cooper and his team are immediately brought back by helicopter to the CDF base. On the flight back, CDF command informs him that they were to immediately hand over Lopotev to the Russian military as part of a secret deal arranged between the Chernarussian government and Moscow. Not particularly happy about their present situation, Cooper nonetheless agrees with the CDF's plans, and proceeds to the site of the deal near the Russian airbase.

Upon arrival, the tense meeting goes without a problem, with Lopotev handed over to the Russian commander in charge of the deal. However, the site suddenly comes under heavy fire from unknown assailants. Luckily, Cooper and his men come out of the exchange intact, and soon discover that the attackers were indeed Russian Spetsnaz. In fact, the operatives were led by none other than Karelin himself.

« The blond guy... this is Karelin?
Cooper discovers the corpse of the Spetsnaz team leader
»

Satisfied that justice had been delivered to Sabre Team's killer and the true mastermind of the civil war at last, Cooper reports back the incident to CDF command. He returns to the matter of putting an end to Karelin's conspiracy once and for all.

Loose Ends
Though the CDF were beginning to gain the upperhand on all fronts (thanks in no small part to Lopotev's capture), they still lacked the necessary firepower to liberate the entire region back from Chedaki control.

Cooper, under the advice of Marny and CDF operations officer R.A. Stavovich, headed towards Chernogorsk. If they managed to capture the city, the 27th MEU would be able to land ashore and help allied forces in the fighting. Cooper's team succeeds, and American reinforcements begin to turn the tide decisively in the CDF's favour.

Cooper's men track the movements of the ChDKZ back to their main base hidden deep within the woodlands of Msta. With their help, joint CDF/NAPA troops are finally able to destroy the base and with it, what was left of the ChDKZ's main force.

Post-Harvest Red

Arma2-campaign-harvestred-08

Razor Team are personally greeted by General Armstrong

Completely victorious, Cooper and his team proudly report back their success to Shaftoe, who orders them to be immediately airlifted back to the USS Khe Sanh for a debriefing.

Upon return, Cooper happily discovers that a welcoming party had been arranged on the flight deck with the MEU's commander, General Armstrong himself, personally congratulating Cooper on his achievement.

« It's hard not to be able to talk about it, but those of us who were there will always know. For us, it was all out war, not some slavic skirmish over borders and leadership. For all the people we met and lost and despite this great thing we achieved, I can never tell my friends or family what happened. But enough people do know, and it seems we're all being well rewarded for our silence, so I can't be too unhappy. But to be honest, all I want now is a shower...
Post-Harvest Red debriefing
»

Following his first major tour in Chernarus, his field promotion to the position of team leader within Razor Team was made official.

After another tour in Takistan, he was honourably discharged from service and quietly retired from the Corps to become a private security consultant for various government agencies. He frequently travels to Chernarus.

Personality and Appearance

Cooper bears the appearance of an African-American rapidly approaching his mid-thirties. He typically wears an outfit that consists of an olive-coloured baseball cap, a Rhodesian Recon Vest (RRV) plate carrier, and a sage green-coloured Flame Resistant Organizational Gear (FROG) uniform with MARPAT-camouflaged pants.

As indicated by the outstandingly high scores seen in his mental health evaluation, and in contrast to the more reckless Chad Rodriguez or the stoic (and often cold) Randolph Sykes, Cooper has a particularly robust and unflappable personality. Charismatic, calm, and friendly, Cooper is well-liked amongst his fellow Marines as a highly motivating non-commissioned officer.

His easygoing personality also allows him quickly befriend Chernarussian locals like Josef Sova and Valentina Galkina, in no small part thanks to his proficiency with Slavic languages. This proves to be extremely useful later on, as his good relationship with the locals end up preventing danger from befalling Razor Team multiple times.

Trivia

  • It is possible for the player to make alternate decisions that result in Cooper's personality becoming more harsher and at times, even quite incompetent as a leader.
    • Naturally, these choices are completely non-canonical, as Cooper always chooses the right options that do not result in him becoming antagonistic toward others.
  • Cooper's appearance is based on Diop Cherif. He is voiced by Canadian actor Daniel Brown.

Gallery

See also