In The Media
“Early on there were, in fact, cases of bad people doing bad things, and hopefully they got justice,” said Doug O’Connell, a National Guard colonel and former federal prosecutor who, as a defense attorney, has represented more than a dozen soldiers accused of defrauding the incentive program. “But they kept going. Now we are down to the little guys, the average soldier, who if they did something wrong, they didn’t know it.”
Defense attorney Doug O’Connell is a colonel in the Texas National Guard and a Green Beret who has represented 42 soldiers targeted by CID.
“CID agents often draw conclusions based on false assumptions,” the Austin, Texas-based lawyer told The Times. “Nowhere is this more prevalent than cases involving recruiters. The G-RAP rules were murky to begin with and seemed to change constantly. Unfortunately, it’s almost always the lower-ranking soldiers caught up in this dragnet.”
Soldiers Have Rights – By Doug O’Connell
Hundreds if not thousands of current and former Army National Guard soldiers are finding themselves ensnared in a highly controversial dragnet related to the defunct Guard Recruiting Assistance Program.
The soldiers are G-RAP recruiting assistants who are either under investigation by active-duty agents of the Army Criminal Investigation Division or, worse, facing criminal prosecution or a civil fraud lawsuit in federal court.
Leaders nationwide have raised concerns about the conduct of the Army’s G-RAP investigation, especially as it relates to RAs. They see an overzealous Army CID task force basing allegations on technical violations of G-RAP rules that changed numerous times during the program’s seven-year run.
Seven thousand miles from home, Texas Special Forces units in Africa are helping to win the War on Terror by teaching our allies a crucial lesson: how to fight for themselves.
…After years of splitting his time between his law practice and the Special Forces, he is retiring to practice law full-time in Austin next year. “You know, I never expected to become a colonel, and I never expected to stay in for twenty-eight years,” he says, looking wistful. “But interesting things kept happening.”
How many lawyers can be described by their boss as “a finely tuned killing machine”? Probably very few. But Doug O’Connell has top secret government clearance, wears camouflage to the office and might at any time have to drop his pleadings to lead a clandestine mission into a foreign country. He is a member of the Army National Guard, a Ranger-qualified major in the elite Special Forces — the Green Berets — and is mobilized at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, as general counsel to the Texas Military Forces.
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