ANN ARBOR, MI – During a Pentagon press conference on May 10, 2012, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly excoriated a subordinate officer over his teaching of an elective course at the National Defense University entitled Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism because it was offensive to Muslims.
The target of General Dempsey’s ire was Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, a 1994 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a highly decorated combat veteran. Dooley was an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) of the National Defense University. Despite rave reviews from students and faculty, General Dempsey characterized Dooley’s course as “totally objectionable,” “unprofessional” and “against our values.” He ordered all material offensive to Islam scrubbed from military professional education within the JFSC and elsewhere.
LTC Dooley was fired from his instructor position and given an ordered negative Officer Evaluation Report (OER) — the death-knell for a military career. A review of the OERs below demonstrate what happened to LTC Dooley is more than a personal miscarriage of justice. When military officers are prohibited from teaching about the true threat posed by our enemy, it is a threat to our national security
The Thomas More Law Center, a national nonprofit public interest law firm, based in Ann, Arbor, Michigan, is representing LTC Dooley. To give the public an idea of the loss to the Army and our Nation, the Law Center decided to make public various excerpts of LTC Dooley’s last five Officer Evaluation Reports (OER), covering a period from 2007 to 2011.
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. 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.
As is clearly shown by the OERs below, 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.
However, 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 below from earlier OERs describe LTC Dooley’s outstanding performance before his course was considered offensive to Muslims.
Officer Evaluation Reports prior to GEN Dempsey’s comments
OER covering May 16, 2010 to May 15, 2011
OER Covering September 22, 2009 to May 15, 2010
OER covering April 4, 2009 to September 21, 2009
OER covering June 16, 2008 to April 3, 2009
OER covering June 17, 2007 to June 16, 2008
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center observed, “As you read his OERs, I’m sure you came to several conclusions about Matt Dooley. First, he was 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. And lastly, his superiors at the Joint Forces Staff College considered him an outstanding instructor. It’s sad that after all he has done for his country and the Army, his superiors sacrificed him to the dogs of political correctness.”
LTC Matt Dooley was deployed to Bosnia, Kuwait, and Iraq for a total of six operational and combat tours over the course of his career. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant of Armor in May 1994. LTC Dooley has served as a Tank Platoon Leader, Tank Company Executive Officer, Tank Company Commander, Headquarters Company Commander, Captains Career Course Small Group Instructor, Cavalry Squadron Operations Officer, Cavalry Squadron Executive Office, Regimental Plans Officer, Aide-de-Camp (to three separate 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.
LTC Dooley’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Star, Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Two Stars, both the Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medals, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the NATO Medal, the Parachutist Badge, the Air-Assault Badge, and two Army Superior Unit Awards.
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.