Proving People Wrong

(L-R) BG Gary Cheek, WTC Commander, CPT Scott Smiley, West Point Warrior Transition Unit Commander; Noel Koch, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for the Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy, at the West Point Transition Unit change of command ceremony, February 1, 2010. (Photo courtesy of John Pellino)

(L-R) BG Gary Cheek, WTC Commander; CPT Scott Smiley, West Point Warrior Transition Unit Commander; and Noel Koch, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for the Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy; at the West Point Transition Unit change of command ceremony, February 1, 2010. (Photo courtesy of John Pellino)

By BG Gary Cheek, WTC Commander

On February 1, CPT Scott Smiley took command of the West Point Warrior Transition Unit. While every WTU change of command is notable because it demonstrates a re-commitment on the part of leadership to the comprehensive support of wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, this particular change of command was even more so.

CPT Smiley proved a lot of people wrong to get to where he is today.

On April 6, 2005 CPT Smiley was severely injured in a suicide bomb attack in Iraq. As a result, he lost his sight. Many thought he couldn’t continue on active duty. He did. When CPT Smiley decided to pursue his MBA at Duke University, many questioned whether he could do it.

He did.

CPT Smiley has gone on to teach cadets at West Point, to climb Mt. Rainier, to serve as an example to all Soldiers and all Americans.

As the commander of WTC, I charge all WTU commanders and cadre to lead our Warriors in Transition and encourage them to embrace ability over disability. CPT Smiley is a shining example of what can be accomplished when a Soldier sets a determined goal and gives his all to achieve it. I cannot be more proud to have CPT Smiley as a commander of a WTU. The Soldiers who are placed under his watch can rest assured that they are being led by someone who has faced tremendous challenges and overcome them—and can lead them to do the same.

I thank CPT Smiley for taking up this new challenge and to his Family who have provided him with the support to do so.

Comments are closed

Write a blog for WTC

Warriors in Transition can submit a blog by e-mailing WarriorCareCommunications [at] conus.army.mil.