Born in McKinney Texas, Colonel Thomas Dooley, began his studies in the Fall of 1932. During his time at Texas A&M he was a Ross Volunteer and Head Yell Leader. He graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1935.
During World War II, Colonel Dooley served in the Philippines under General Jonathan Wainwright. When the Japanese attacked the Philippines in 1941, he distinguished himself in action as Aide-de-Camp to General Wainwright and was awarded the Silver Star. He continued serving with Wainwright through the Corregidor and Bataan campaigns. When Japanese forces overwhelmed Corregidor, Dooley was captured and held as a prisoner of war for 3 years.
His military career ranged from combat commands to Army Attaché in Prague, Czechoslovakia, with his final assignment being Chief of Staff and Deputy Post Commander at Fort Knox, Kentucky.