Colonel Earl G. Matthews serves as the Staff Judge Advocate, Joint Force Headquarters, District of Columbia National Guard.
He began his military career in March 2000 upon receiving a direct commission into the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Army Reserve. Lt.Col. Matthews’ previous assignments include, Chief Training Support Branch, The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, Charlottesville, VA (2017-2018); Staff Judge Advocate, Multi-Agency Augmentation Command, D.C. Army National Guard (2016-2017); Student, U.S. Army War College (2015-2016); Special Counsel and Liaison to the Joint Staff, Periodic Review Secretariat (2014-2015); Staff Judge Advocate, Special Operations Command Forward-East Africa, Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti (2013-2014); Deputy Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, (2011-2013); Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, Kandahar, Afghanistan (2010); Deputy Officer-in-Charge, Pre-Deployment Synchronization Cell, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Rosslyn, Va. (2009); Operational Law Attorney, National Guard Bureau Legal Support Office, D.C. Army National Guard, Arlington, Va. (2007-2009); Legal Advisor, DoD Criminal Investigation Task Force, Fort Belvoir, Va. and Baghdad, Iraq (2006-2007); Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Reserve Control Group, St. Louis, MO (2004-2006); International Law Officer, 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion with duty as Operations Officer, Ministry of Justice Advisory Team, Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, Iraq (2003-2004); Chief of Military Justice, 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (Forward) and Task Force Eagle, Tuzla, Bosnia (2002-2003); Trial Counsel, 220th Military Police Brigade, Gaithersburg, Md. (2002); and Administrative Law Attorney, 1215th Garrison Support Unit, Willow Grove, Pa. (2000-2001).
A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Col. Matthews graduated with a Bachelor of Art, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Villanova University in May 1995, earned a J.D. from the Harvard Law School in June 1998, an Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University in August 2005, an LL.M. in National Security Law from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2013 and an Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in 2016.
Col. Matthews’ personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device and numeral three, the Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral three, the NATO Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon. Col. Matthews is authorized to wear the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge. He has served on teams that have been awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, and the Army Superior Unit Award.
In his civilian capacity, Col Matthews is a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Senior Director for Defense Policy and Strategy on the National Security Council Staff. He previously served as Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Department of the Army, as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense and as an Assistant General Counsel of the Defense Intelligence Agency, among other positions.