Navy Lt. Cmdr. Harvey J. Copeland, a 1982 graduate of Appling County Comprehensive High School, Baxley, recently retired after 30 years of active-duty service in the Navy while assigned to Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command Headquarters in San Diego.
Copeland excelled through the enlisted ranks, from E-1 to E-7. Later, he was commissioned as a Chief Warrant Officer and then later was selected for commission to Lt. J. G. as a Limited Duty Officer. During his Naval service, Copeland served and deployed in support of numerous military operations to include the Lebanon crisis as well as operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to Copeland, a highlight of his career was serving as a Recruit Division Commander (drill instructor) in Great Lakes, Ill. He trained two Recruit Divisions prior to his selection as a Department Head in the Recruit Training Command’s Headquarters. Copeland is currently assigned to Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command Headquarters.
The Naval special warfare community is the maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Command and the Navy’s special operations force. The community is composed of more than 2, 600 SEALs, 700 Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC), and more than 3, 700 support personnel. SEALs and SWCC focus on missions involving unconventional warfare, direct action, combating terrorism, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, information warfare, security assistance, counter-drug operations, personnel recovery and hydrographic reconnaissance. His personal awards include Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and various unit and campaign awards. Copeland currently resides in San Diego with his wife, Renee. Copeland joined the Navy in August 1982.