Featured Speaker: Colonel Matthew R. Grant
COLONEL MATTHEW R. GRANT, U.S. AIR FORCE
STAFF JUDGE ADVOCATE, UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
Colonel Matthew R. Grant is the Staff Judge Advocate, Headquarters, U.S. Central Command. As the Staff Judge Advocate, he provides timely, accurate and concise legal counsel to the Combatant Commander (a four-star Army General) and his staff, and to 14 subordinate headquarters conducting military operations and activities in 20 Middle East and Central Asian countries, through their legal counsel, on international, operational, fiscal, intelligence and national security, administrative, and ethics law issues, and the administration of military justice. The Headquarters legal office includes 15 military lawyers (judge advocates) and civilian counsel, and four military and civil paralegal and legal support professionals at MacDill Air Force Base.
Colonel Grant grew up in Chino, California. In 1990 he graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army through the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps. After more than 4 years of active duty, primarily in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he left active duty to attend law school. Colonel Grant graduated from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law in 1998, was admitted to the Kentucky Bar, and re-entered active duty as an Air Force officer and Judge Advocate in October 1998.
Prior to reporting to U.S. Central Command in July 2017, Colonel Grant was the Principal Deputy Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Among his previous assignments, Colonel Grant was the Director of Legal Services for U.S. military forces stationed in the United Kingdom, and has served at U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, at Joint Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and at several bases in the United States and overseas. Colonel Grant has deployed to the Middle East on multiple occasions in support of special operations forces in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11.
In 1991, Colonel Grant married the former Angela Woods, a registered nurse from Louisville, Kentucky. They have one daughter, Emily, born in 2000 in Guangdong Province, People’s Republic of China. Emily is a senior at Tampa Catholic High School.
The CENTCOM area of responsibility (AOR) spans more than 4 million square miles and is populated by more than 550 million people from 22 ethnic groups, speaking 18 languages with hundreds of dialects and confessing multiple religions which transect national borders. The demographics in the AOR create opportunities for tension and rivalry.
The geography of the region consists of the intersection of three continents and globally vital commercial sea lanes, flight corridors, pipelines and overland routes. The 20 nations of the AOR, which stretches from Northeast Africa across the Middle East to Central and South Asia, have forms of governance ranging across the political spectrum, including emerging democracies, hereditary monarchies, autocracies, and Islamist theocratic regimes.
The Central Region is among the least secure and stable regions of the world. Adversarial relationships among neighboring states, widespread ethnic and sectarian struggles, malign influence and destabilizing activities, cyber-based threats, and growing arsenals of sophisticated conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction all combine to imperil enduring U.S. vital national interests, as well as those of our trusted partners and allies.