ANN ARBOR, MI – During a Pentagon press conference on May 10, 2012, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly excoriated Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Matthew Dooley, a 1994 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a highly decorated combat veteran. His reason: The course on Islamic Radicalism which LTC Dooley was teaching at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) of the National Defense University was offensive to Muslims.
General Dempsey characterized LTC Dooley’s course as "totally objectionable," and ordered all material offensive to Islam scrubbed from military professional education within the JFSC and elsewhere. But that’s not all. LTC Dooley was fired from his instructor position and given an ordered negative Officer Evaluation Report (OER) — the death-knell for a military career.
The actions against LTC Dooley follow a letter to the Department of Defense dated October 19, 2011 signed by 57 Muslim organizations demanding that all training materials offensive to Islam and Muslims be purged and the trainers disciplined.
A review of LTC Dooley’s OERs going back several years, including his OER as an instructor with JFSC, paint a picture of an outstanding officer with unlimited potential:
- “LTC Matt Dooley’s performance is outstanding and he is clearly the best of our new instructors assigned to the JFSC faculty over the last six months. . . . A must select for battalion command. . . . LTC Dooley possesses unlimited potential to serve in positions of much higher authority.”
- “MAJ Dooley is unquestionably among the most dedicated and hard working officers I have ever known.… Unsurpassed potential for future promotion and service.”
- “Our soldiers deserve his leadership.”
- “This officer possesses unlimited potential for future assignments. He must be promoted ahead of his peers and selected for Battalion/Squadron Command at first opportunity.”
- “Superb performance.”
- “Matt is a consummate professional with unlimited potential;”
The Thomas More Law Center, a national nonprofit public interest law firm, based in Ann, Arbor, Michigan, represents LTC Dooley. The Law Center decided to disclose excerpts from five of LTC Dooley’s previous Officer Evaluation Reports (OER) in order to give the public an idea of the loss to the Army and our Nation caused by the actions taken against LTC Dooley.
What happened to LTC Dooley is more than a personal miscarriage of justice. When instructors are prohibited from teaching military officers about the true threat posed by Islamic Radicalism, it is a threat to our national security.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center observed, “As you read his OERs, linked here, I’m sure you will come to several conclusions about Matt Dooley. First, he is an outstanding officer and had a brilliant career ahead of him. Secondly, he loyally served every one of his commanders. Third, he was respected by the men under his command. Fourth, his superiors at the Joint Forces Staff College considered him an outstanding instructor. And lastly, after all he has done for his country and the Army his superiors sacrificed him to the dogs of political correctness.”
OERs are required at least once a year and are normally completed by two superiors, namely, a rater and a senior rater. The rating officer on an OER is usually the rated officer’s immediate supervisor, an officer of higher rank, who is most familiar with the rated soldier’s specific duties and performance. The senior rater is a leader who occupies the next higher duty position up from the rater and is best positioned to assess both the rated soldier’s performance in comparison to his peers, as well as the rated soldier’s future potential to serve in higher ranks and increased levels of responsibility.
The OERs clearly demonstrate that LTC Dooley’s raters and senior raters all considered him an outstanding officer and advocated his rapid promotion and advancement to the highest levels of responsibility. Like many of his peers serving alongside him in the military, LTC Dooley has served honorably and with distinction through a number of complex operating environments. Nevertheless, he has become the latest victim of the “Great Purge” to appease the 57 Muslim groups which demanded that instructors using materials offensive to Islam be disciplined.
In fact, after General Dempsey’s public rebuke, a negative OER was ordered and prepared with direction from the Pentagon covering the period from June 2011 to June 2012. In contrast to the inaccurate and unjust comments in the Pentagon-directed negative OER, the excerpts from earlier OERs describe LTC Dooley’s outstanding performance.
LTC Matt Dooley attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant, Armor Branch in May 1994. His assignments included deployment to Bosnia, Kuwait, and Iraq for a total of six operational and combat tours over the course of his career. He served as a Tank Platoon Leader, Tank Company Commander, Headquarters Company Commander, Aide-de-Camp (to three General Officers), and Instructor at the Joint Combined Warfare School. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College as well as the Joint Forces Staff College.
The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.