Military Connection: Army Colonel Retires After Challenging Policies

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By Debbie Gregory.

Lt. Col. Danny Davis is leaving the Army, and he has mixed feelings leaving a military he loves and has been proud to serve in. But Davis has faced ridicule and scrutiny due to a scathing report he wrote in 2012. “Dereliction of Duty II,” criticized top U.S. generals for misleading the American public in order to push failing policies in Afghanistan. The piece made headlines because of the fact that it was penned by an active-duty officer.

So what does Davis have in mind for retirement? He’s launched a fundraising campaign for a group he created called Democracy Awake. He hopes to gain non-profit status for the new venture, which he hopes will combat the sway of powerful donors with deep pockets on the political system through voter education.

Davis said that his activism made him feel isolated in the Army, with many colleagues avoiding him out of anger or fear of being associated with a controversial figure. “Can you imagine going to work every day with people who saw red every time you entered the room because they hate you?” he said.

Army spokesman Wayne Hall  said the Army encourages officers to write about their experiences as long as it is “clearly identified that those opinions are personal and do not necessarily represent official U.S. Army policy.”

As expected, Davis has received both praise and criticism for speaking out while in uniform. Retired Army Col. Joseph J Collins reviewed Davis’ work and tossed the criticism back saying that although every veteran has an important story, Davis’ was a mess.

“I was prepared for a real critique and came away profoundly disappointed,” he wrote.

As a nonprofit, Democracy Awake will provide voters with “staunchly non-partisan” rundowns of candidates by issues. Davis’ new venture will also assist those who want to run for office who do not have big donors backing them. Launched on indiegogo.com, Davis hopes to raise $30,000 to get the campaign off the ground.

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Military Connection: Army Colonel Retires After Challenging Policies: By Debbie Gregory