Matt Gallagher (born 1983) is an American author, former U.S. Army captain and veteran of the Iraq War. Gallagher has written on a variety of subjects, mainly contemporary war fiction and non-fiction. He became widely known for his war memoir Kaboom (2010), which tells of his and his scout platoon's experiences during the Iraq War. Until recently, he worked at the nonprofit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America as senior fellow.
Background and education
Gallagher was born in Reno, Nevada, to attorneys Deborah Scott Gallagher and Dennis Gallagher. He and his brother Luke attended Brookfield School and Bishop Manogue High School, where Matt edited the school newspaper and ran cross country and track. He graduated in 2001.
Gallagher then attended Wake Forest University in North Carolina. He joined Army ROTC the week before 9/11, and decided to honor this commitment after the September 11th attacks. While at Wake Forest, Gallagher was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity and served as the sports editor of the Old Gold & Black. He graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, commissioning into the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant in the Armor Branch.
Gallagher trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he attended and graduated the Armor Officer Basic Course and Army Reconnaissance Course. He was subsequently assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He deployed with this unit in 2007 as a scout platoon leader with 2-14 Cavalry to Saba al-Bor, a sectarian village northwest of Baghdad. He was promoted to the rank of captain in July 2008, and was then reassigned to 1-27 Infantry, part of the famed 27th Infantry Regiment, where he served as a targeting officer. He and his unit returned to Schofield Barracks in February 2009, and Gallagher left the Army later that year. He earned the Combat Action Badge during his deployment to Iraq.
While deployed to Iraq, Gallagher wrote about his experiences there on a military blog. Kaboom: A Soldier's War Journal was a popular blog from November 2007 to June 2008, before it was shut down by the writer's military chain-of-command. Gallagher went by the pseudonym of LT G, wrote about the front-line experiences in the Iraq War as a United States Army soldier. A scout platoon leader, LT G often incorporated the trials and tribulations of his platoon in his writings, offering a brash and brutally honest perspective of modern warfare. Kaboom was shut down, and subsequently deleted, after Gallagher made a post detailing his turning down of a promotion in an effort to stay with his soldiers.
Before Kaboom was shut down, it was one of the few military blogs to garner attention and press coverage from the print media. This can be attributed to LT G's literary writing style. In a nationally published story chronicling the rise and fall of Kaboom, LT G was revealed to be Gallagher, who had been promoted to captain soon after his blog was shut down.
After leaving the Army, Gallagher moved to New York City and wrote his war memoir, Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War, which was published in April 2010 by Da Capo Press. It received widespread critical acclaim, garnering Gallagher a speaking invitation from the prestigious Pritzker Military Library in Chicago.
Post-Kaboom, Gallagher has written for a variety of magazines and publications, to include The Atlantic, Boston Review and The New York Times. He is currently a Columbia University MFA candidate in fiction.
Matt Gallagher and Roy Scranton co-edited Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War (Da Capo, 2013), an anthology of literary fiction by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Fire and Forget featured an introduction by National Book Award Winner Colum McCann, and stories by Colby Buzzell, David Abrams, Phil Klay, Siobhan Fallon, Gavin Kovite, Jacob Siegel, and others.
- Londoño, Ernesto (July 24, 2008). "Silent Posting". Washington Post.
- "IAVA Staff". IAVA.org. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
- "Army tells soldier to end blog from Iraq". Army Times. August 3, 2008.
- "A Soldier's Story". Wall Street Journal.
- "IAVA staff". IAVA. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
- Shachtman, Noah (2 July 2008). "Bosses Delete Outspoken Army Blog". Wired.
- Kaboom - A Soldier's War Journal - Asylum | Men's Lifestyle | Humor, weird news, sex tips, fashion, dating, food and gadgets
- The Sandbox: THE BON JOVI IED
- Kaboom goes kaboom | Jay Bookman | ajc.com
- Tomlinson, Chris (12 March 2008). "Five years later: Iraq war goes online". USA Today.
- "An Iraqi Dog's Life". The Washington Post.
- Londoño, Ernesto (24 July 2008). "Silent Posting". The Washington Post.
- "The Boots-Eye View". The New Republic. June 11, 2010.
- "A Soldier's Story". Wall Street Journal. March 23, 2010.
- "Matt Gallagher at the Pritzker Library". Pritzker Military Library. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
- "Where's the Great Novel on the War on Terror?". The Atlantic. June 14, 2011.
- "Straight Shooter". Boston Review.
- Gallagher, Matt (May 3, 2011). "The Hut Next Door". The New York Times.
- "From the Battlefield to Brooklyn". L Magazine. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- "Fire and Forget". Da Capo. Retrieved March 14, 2014.