Warren Richardson Cobean, Jr., was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, on June 26, 1923, son of Warren R. and Minnie A. (Wickfors) Cobean. He attended the New Mexico Military Institute at Roswell, for two years, prior to entering the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, on appointment from the State of New Mexico in 1943. Graduated with the Class of 1947 on June 5, 1946 (accelerated course due to World War Ii), he was commissioning Ensign on that date and subsequently advanced in rank of that Captain, to date from July 1, 1966.
Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1946, he served until July 1948 in the New Jersey (BB-62), interspersed with instruction from March to July 1947 at the Combat Information Center School, Boston Massachusetts. He next joined the USS LST-611 and in December 1948 was detached for submarine training at the Submarine School, New London, Connecticut. In June 1949 he joined the USS Besugo (SS-321) and during the period October 1951 to July 1952 served as Aide and Flag Lieutenant to Commander Submarine Force, US Pacific Fleet. Completing instruction at the Nuclear Submarine School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he reported in February 1953 for further training at the National Reactor Testing Station, Idaho Falls, Idaho. Assigned March 1954 to the USS Nautillus (SSN-571), building at the General Dynamics Corporation, Electric Boat Division, Groton, Connecticut, he joined that nuclear powered submarine, the first of her kind, upon her commissioning, September 30, 1954. In 1957, the Nautilus participated in the first Arctic Under-Ice Exploration within one hundred and eighty miles of the North Pole.
In February 1958 he reported for instruction at the Naval Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia and during July and August 1958 was a student at the Prospective Commanding Officers School, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii. He next commanded the USS Tiru (DD-416), which, under his command, was awarded the “E” for Submarine Squadron Seven. In October 1959 he joined the Staff of Commander Submarine Squadron Fourteen, the first Polaris submarine squadron, as Material Officer and while in that assignment attended the Fleet Ballistic Missile Prospective Commanding Officer/ Prospective Executive Officer Course at the Guided Missile School, Dam Neck, Virginia, during November and December 1960.
Between March and June 1961 he was assigned to the Naval Reactor Branch, Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, DC, after which he commanded the USS Halibut (SSGN 587). That guided missile submarine won the “E” for Submarine Division Eleven; the Submarine Force, US Pacific Fleet Torpedo Fire Control Excellence Award twice and was nominated by the Commander Submarine Force, US Pacific Fleet for the Arleigh Burke Award. Detached from command of the Halibut in November 1962, he attended the Polaris Command Course at the Naval Guided Missile School, Dam Neck, Virginia, and in February 1963 had instruction at the Fleet Sonar School, Key West, Florida. Later that month he had instruction in Mark 113 fire control system at the Naval Submarine School, New London. In February 1963 he reported for fitting out duty in the USS James Monroe (SSBN-622), building at the Newport News (Virginia) Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company and assumed command of the Gold Crew upon her commissioning, December 7, 1963. As Commanding Officer of the Gold Crew, he made the Second anf Fourth Polaris strike patrols. Detached from the James Monroe in April 1965, he was again ordered to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, where the USS George C. Marshall (SSBN-654) was building. He assumed command of the Blue Crew of that fleet ballistic missile submarine upon her commissioning on April 29, 1966.
In August 1967 he reported as Director of the Training Systems Branch, Special Projects Office, Naval Material Command, Washington, DC, and August 1968 became Deputy Director of the Strategic Systems Project, Naval Material Command.
Captain Cobean has the American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; Korean Service Medal and the United Nationals Service Medal. He also has the Expert Rifleman Medal and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation Badge.