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A new reliable cooperative MAC protocol called RCO-MAC is proposed, and the protocol's performance is evaluated with numerical analysis and computer simulation. The key concept for this RCO-MAC protocol is to give the responsibility of the error recovery by retransmission for a frame to the node that transmits the frame. The system throughput is used as a performance metric. According to numerical results, it is shown that the scheme proposed in this paper provides over 20% more system throughput than the rDCF scheme.