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#VeteranOfTheDay Army Veteran Doug O’Connell

Army Veteran Doug O’Connell served over 30 years in the United States Army with 15 years of active duty. O’Connell attended college on an ROTC scholarship, before graduating from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1994. He began his ROTC program in May 1987 and continued service in the Army until June 2017. 

After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, O’Connell deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan with the 10th Special Forces Group. Returning to the U.S., he transferred to the Joint Special Operations Command in New York and Washington D.C. He was also commissioned to work on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Manhattan, dedicated to understanding and preventing terrorism from around the globe. O’Connell was granted top security clearance working as commander of the Special Operations Unit in the Texas Army National Guard countering terror threats from Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, ISIS and other extremist groups.

While in the Army, O’Connell attended law school and pursued two master’s degrees. He received a Master of Arts in National Security Policy Studies and Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2008. In 2013, he obtained a Master of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.

After becoming a licensed attorney in 1994, O’Connell pursued a career in law and worked as a misdemeanor prosecutor and felony prosecutor in Travis County, Texas, before working up to prosecuting federal crimes with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Austin, Texas. In October 2021, he joined O’Connell West Law Firm as a criminal defense attorney. Today, he investigates company cases of administrative failures, regulation violations, white-collar crimes and other large crimes. He also advocates for and represents Veterans and service members in military justice cases.

O’Connell has volunteered on the board of directors for the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, as commissioner for Austin’s Veterans Commission and as a past director of the Texas Lyceum. He is a Vestry member of his local Episcopal church and serves as a board member and chair of the Veteran’s program “Songwriting with Soldiers.”

We honor his service.

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to [email protected] with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Writer: Sarah McDonald

Editors: Mary Margaret Brennan, Cate Manning

Researcher: Raphael Romea

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