WASHINGTON -- Lt. Col. Earl G. Matthews, 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, was promoted to the rank of colonel in the District of Columbia National Guard, on Nov. 3, at the D.C. National Guard Armory.
Matthews was promoted during a ceremony before a crowd that included Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. Wilson, former Ambassador to Germany Robert Kimmitt, as well as D.C. National Guard officials, family and friends.
"The United States Army is incredibly proud of Col. Matthews," Milley said. "That oath, those words he just said, mean that Earl's willing to die to support the United States Constitution.... On behalf of the entire Army, there's no one more proud of you than all of us."
Milley's visit continues a history of relationships between Army Chiefs of Staff and the D.C. National Guard. General of the Army Omar Bradley, the 17th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and the last five-star officer in the U.S. armed forces, pinned Maj. Gen. William Abendroth, former commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, during his promotion ceremony to the rank of major general.
Matthews serves as the Staff Judge Advocate for the Joint Force Headquarters District of Columbia National Guard, where he provides legal advice and counsel to the Commanding General, regarding D.C. National Guard operations.
"Earl embodies the very best that this organization has to offer both as a leader and expert in his field," said Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, commanding general, District of Columbia National Guard. "We are lucky to have him and it is my distinct honor to promote him to the rank of colonel today."
Matthews received a direct commission into the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General's Corps in March 2000. He has provided multifaceted legal counsel and leadership during his career that includes assignments in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. He earned a J.D. from the Harvard Law School in June 1998, an M.S. in strategic intelligence from the National Intelligence University in Aug. 2005, an LL.M. in national security law from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2013 and an M.S. in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College in 2016.
In his civilian capacity, 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.
Today's D.C. National Guard, known as the "Capital Guardians" remains strong with more than 2,700 Soldiers and Airmen protecting the capital and defending the nation. The D.C. National Guard provides air sovereignty alert forces to defend the nation's capital 24/7, 365 days a year, while providing fighter aircraft, VIP airlift, and support forces, in addition to sustaining mission-ready Soldiers and Airmen for active duty in times of war or national emergency.