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George E. Dooley was born, raised, and educated in Chicago, Illinois. At 17 he quit college to join the army, where he served as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division. He was selected for Special Forces training, and in February 1967, when he was a Sergeant First Class (E-7) he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. While serving in the army, he completed a B.A. in political science (graduating summa cum laude); he later attained an M.A. in management. He is also a graduate of the Infantry Officer Advanced Course and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC).
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