Today, Senator Bill Larkin (R-C-I, 39th District) proudly inducted West Point graduate Major Scotty Smiley into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame.
“Major Smiley epitomizes what service and sacrifice in our military is all about,” said Senator Bill Larkin. “When Major Smiley was wounded in combat he could have just went home and let that be the end of his service. Instead, he worked tirelessly to become the first blind active-duty officer in military history. Major Smiley continues to inspire countless Americans with his perseverance and patriotism.”
“It was an honor to be recognized today as part of the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame,” said Major Scotty Smiley. “I am especially honored that I was nominated by a decorated WWII and Korean War combat veteran, Colonel Bill Larkin. This is a day my wife Tiffany and I will not soon forget and will forever be thankful for. New York holds a very special place in our hearts.”
Major Scotty Smiley
Scotty Smiley attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. After four great years, he graduated and attended Infantry Officer Basic Course and Ranger School. In 2005, while leading a 45 man Platoon in Mosul, Iraq, Scotty found himself in front of a suicide car bomb. Shrapnel from the blast blew through Scotty’s eyes leaving him blinded and temporarily paralyzed; he woke up in Walter Reed Army Medical Center a week later. After this incident, Scotty was determined to 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.
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 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 all over the country speaking and sharing his message of perseverance, courage and hope. He is an avid adventurer and has completed the Coeur d’Alene Iron Man, climbed Mt Rainer, gone skydiving, surfing and is always looking for his next chance to try something new. Scotty is married to his high school sweetheart, Tiffany. They are proud parents of Grady Douglas, Graham Elliott, and Baylor Scott.