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

Scotty Smiley is from Pasco, a small city in Washington State. After high school, he attended the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. After four years, he graduated and moved to Fort Benning, GA and attended Infantry Officer Basic Course and Ranger School. Soon after he moved to Fort Lewis, WA 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 bomber. After the man blew himself up, shrapnel blew through Scotty's eyes leaving him blinded and temporarily paralyzed. A week later he woke up in Walter Reed Army Medical Center. 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 Captain Smiley "Soldier of the Year" in 2007. In 2008, Scotty won the ESPY award for Best Outdoor Athlete. After receiving an MBA 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 esteemed Christopher Award that affirms the highest values of the human spirit. Since then, Scotty attended the Maneuver Captain Career Course in Fort Benning, GA, and then moved to Spokane, WA where he held a position with the Gonzaga University ROTC Department teaching and mentoring America's future leaders. After many years of service, Scotty retired from the military in 2015. Over his military career, Major (Retired) Smiley received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Ranger Tab, Airborne Wings and Combat Diver Qualification Badge. He currently works with the capital markets department at Drexel Hamilton, out of New York City, as an investment banker for 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 the country speaking and sharing his message of perseverance, courage and hope. He is an avid adventurer and has completed the Coeur d'Alene Ironman. Scotty has climbed Mt. Rainer, has gone skydiving and surfing and is always looking for his next chance to try something new. Scotty is married to his high school sweetheart, Tiffany. The couple lives in Pasco, WA and 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

Scotty Smiley
Featured Keynote Programs

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
Featured Reviews

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