Scotty Smiley | U.S. Army's First Blind Active-Duty Officer

Scotty Smiley

U.S. Army's First Blind Active-Duty Officer

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Scotty Smiley

Major (Retired) Scotty Smiley is from Pasco, Washington. After high school he attended the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.  After four great years, he graduated and moved to Fort Benning, Georgia and attended Infantry Officer Basic Course and Ranger School. He quickly moved to Fort Lewis, Washington where he led a 45 man Platoon.  

In 2005 while leading his Platoon in Mosul, Iraq, Scotty found himself in front of a suicide car bomb.  After the man blew himself up, Scotty woke in Walter Reed Army Medical Center blinded for the rest of his life and partially paralyzed. Though questioning his faith, Scotty made a decision to forgive and rebuild his life and continue to serve in the Army, becoming the first blind active-duty officer in military history.

The Army Times named Scotty “Soldier of the Year” in 2007 and in 2008 he won an ESPY as the world’s Best Outdoor Athlete. After receiving a Master of Business Administration from Duke University, Scotty taught the core course in leadership at West Point and then commanded the Warrior Transition Unit at West Point’s Keller Army Medical Center. Scotty is a recipient of the Army’s prestigious MacArthur Leadership Award and holds an honorary PhD from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY.  In 2010, Scotty received a Father of the Year award in New York and in 2011 received the Christopher Award for all he has given and continues to give.

Since then, Scotty has attended the Maneuver Captain Career Course in Fort Benning, Georgia, and moved to Spokane, Washington where he worked with the Gonzaga University ROTC Department, teaching and mentoring America’s future leaders.  After 12 years of service, he retired from the military in 2015.

Scotty joined Drexel Hamilton out of New York in 2015 and works with corporations and banks around the world.  

With a passion for using his story to build hope in this world, Scotty authored Hope Unseen in 2010 and now travels all over the country speaking and sharing his message of perseverance, courage and hope.

Scotty is married to his high school sweetheart, Tiffany and they are the proud parents of Grady Douglas, Graham Elliott, and Baylor Scott.

Scotty Smiley
Featured Videos

Current: Hope Unseen // The Story of Scotty and Tiffany Smiley

Time 07:03

More Videos From Scotty Smiley

Hope Unseen // The Story of Scotty and Tiffany Smiley
Time 07:03
American Valor: Major Scott Smiley
Time 05:27
National Prayer Breakfast
Time 06:02

Hope Unseen

Scotty’s story will empower, motivate and move the audience at your next event. From the Walmart Leadership Academy, Duke University and Harvest Christian Fellowship to Fox News and the Katie Couric Show, Scotty and Tiffany Smiley have traveled all over the country inspiring audiences with their journey of triumph and overcoming.

Each audience calls for a personalized address but some common topics include:

The Power of the Team
Choice and Change
Overcoming Obstacles
Triumph Over Tragedy
Finding Adventure
Marriage in Hardships
God’s Transforming Power
Trusting God
Finding Hope in Hopelessness
Depending on Him


I share my life story through the highs and lows, from high school fame to West Point difficulties, through Army accomplishments to Army failures and injuries. Through these stories I share about not giving up and always looking at what goals I never thought I could accomplish.


The Army values are not necessarily unique but instead lived and supported to death. It is the growth of my personal values and belief in the Army values gave me the ability to lead and recover from the serious injury’s I incurred. More importantly it is the development of the organizations values and implementation of those values that accomplishes a full understanding and support of the organization.

Personal Relationship with God

My personal relationship with God started at a very young age. However, it is this relationship that grew and wavered in the good and bad times. More so, it is this relationship that gave me direction and motivation to overcome a life threatening injury and live life to its fullest.

Scotty Smiley
Featured Book

The Drama Yearsby Scotty Smiley

The Drama Years

by Scotty Smiley
"The Drama Years is the definitive guide to the pressures that middle school girls experience every day"--

Scotty Smiley
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