Navy “nuclear triad” officer facing court-martial for corruption

Capt. Heather Cole (center), then-commodore Strategic Communications Wing ONE and Task Force 124, welcomes guests during a tour of the Take Charge And Move Out (TACAMO) work area at Tinker Air Force Base in 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Chris Delano)

A US Navy Captain now faces a court-martial after she allegedly steered defense contracts and funding to her own Oklahoma-based manufacturing firm.

Captain Heather Cole reportedly failed to disclose her active duty status while negotiating around $635,00 worth of contracts for Worksaver Material Handling Equipment Company between 2002 and 2015, and has since been ordered to a general court-martial.

An Oklahoma native, Cole is also accused of lying to a Navy legal officer in 2012, claiming she was a non-participating partner in the Worksaver company, and that her firm had a waiver to do business with the government.

According to the Navy Times, Cole was fired as commander of the Navy’s Strategic Communications Wing 1 at Oklahoma’s Tinker Air Force Base in 2015, after an inquiry revealed she “had not performed up to the high standards demanded of an officer in command.”

After her firing from SCW-1, Cole was hailed as a “hero” by conspiracy theorists, who claimed she refused to give nuclear launch codes after the Pentagon ordered a surprise attack on Russia. As the head of SCW-1, Cole’s job was to oversee keeping secure links between US officials and the Navy’s ballistic missile sub fleet.

While the conspiracy theories are nothing more than fictitious claims, they have elevated Cole to something of a legend in the eyes of conspiracy theorists on social media.

Cole’s attorney, Jocelyn Stewart, told the Navy Times that her client is effectively being “thrown under the bus” for scandalous offenses that were not made clear at the time.

“Captain Cole is being railroaded by the Navy whether because of political priorities, resentment toward what she has achieved or fear of the truths she has told and is continuing to tell,” Stewart said in an email. “Despite all the challenges Captain Cole has faced in this misguided prosecution, we look forward to having our day in court to tell the real story and clear her good name.”

Formerly a flight officer who was commissioned in 1990, Cole was promoted to Captain in 2011.

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