LtCol Dougherty was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps through the PLC program in May 1996, having completed his undergraduate education in Mechanical Engineering at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Following Basic School and the Infantry Officer Course, he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marines. During this tour, LtCol Dougherty served as Rifle Platoon Commander, Weapons Platoon Commander and H&S Company Commander.
In June 2000, LtCol Dougherty was transferred to Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, Norfolk, VA. Upon arrival, he was assigned as the Platoon Commander, 6th Platoon, 1st FAST where he deployed twice to Bahrain, conducting security operations in support of NAVCENT. In May 2002, he was reassigned to Training Company where he served as the OIC, Close Quarters Battle School until 2003.
Ordered to Camp Pendleton in September, 2003, LtCol Dougherty was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. After completing one deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Commanding Officer, Company E, he was reassigned as the Commanding Officer, Weapons Company where he completed a second deployment in support of the 31st MEU.
In July 2006, LtCol Dougherty reported to Special Operations Training Group (SOTG), I MEF where he served Raids Branch OIC and Director supporting training for Company, Battalion Landing Team and Marine Expeditionary Unit level exercises.
In June 2009, LtCol Dougherty was transferred to Twenty-nine Palms, CA, where he was assigned as the Operations Officer for 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Following his tour with the “Darkside”, he was transferred to The Tactical Training and Exercise Control Group (TTECG) where he served as a Coyote with Infantry Team East preparing units to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.