Matthew Dowden was commissioned as a 2ndLt in the United States Marine Corps after graduation from high school and college in Okinawa, Japan and Baton Rouge, Louisiana respectively.
2ndLt Dowden’s first assignment following entry level schools was 29 Palms, California where he served as a tank platoon commander for 2d Platoon, D Company, 1st Tank Battalion. In January 2005, he was assigned as the platoon commander for Tank Platoon, BLT 2/1, 13th MEU(SOC). During this deployment, his platoon participated in Exercise BRIGHT STAR 2005 and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Upon return to CONUS in May 2006, 1stLt Dowden was assigned as the company commander for H&S Company, 1st Tank Battalion until August 2006 when he was assigned as the executive officer for B Company, 1st Tank Battalion’s deployment to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, returning for a second time to the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.
Upon Capt Dowden’s return from Iraq in November 2007, he was assigned to the USMC Detachment, United States Army Armor Center, Fort Knox, Kentucky where he was assigned as the operations officer, commanding officer of the Marine Training Company, and tactics instructor for the US Army Basic Officer Leadership Course.
Following selection to and completion of Expeditionary Warfare School in May 2011, Capt Dowden was reassigned as the operations officer for 2d Tank Battalion, 2d Marine Division in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In February 2012, Capt Dowden was assigned as the commanding officer for B Company, 2d Tank Battalion when the company deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. Upon his return from the deployment, Capt Dowden was assigned as the staff secretary for II Marine Expeditionary Force.
In September 2014 Major Dowden was assigned as the executive officer for 3d Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD San Diego, until June 2015 when he was assigned as Director, Drill Instructor School until June 2017.
Following selection to and completion of the Command and Staff Course in Quantico, Virginia, Major Dowden was reassigned as Executive Officer, 2d Tank Battalion, 2d Marine Division until June 2019 when he was assigned as Future Operations Officer, 8th Marine Regiment. Subsequently, Lieutenant Colonel Dowden was assigned as the J-5, Future Plans Officer, Task Force–Southwest in September 2019 until returning from Afghanistan in May 2020.
Lieutenant Colonel Dowden’s personal decorations include the Bronze Star with combat “V”, (2) Meritorious Service Medals, (2) Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with combat “V”, and (2) Combat Action Ribbons. He is a distinguished graduate of both Expeditionary Warfare School and the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College.
Lieutenant Colonel Dowden is married to the former Lanessa L. Darby of San Diego, California. They currently reside in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina with their five children: Chloe, Lana, Piper, Belle, and Faith.