TROY alumnus wins Army’s elite MacArthur Award

TROY alumnus Army Capt. Stephen Scott was named a General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award recipient. (photo submitted)

TROY alumnus Army Capt. Stephen Scott was named a General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award recipient. (photo submitted)

TROY Alumnus Army Capt. Stephen Scott (2012), a Prattville native, was all smiles as he walked across a Pentagon stage last week to receive a bust of the great Gen. Douglas MacArthur. He even hammed it up a bit with the Director of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, who presented it to him.

This Trojan Warrior became the first and only TROY graduate to ever be awarded the Army’s General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award. It puts him in an elite group in the Army – this year, just 30 company-grade officers in the entire Army structure – active component, Reserves and National Guard – received the honor. He was the only medical officer to receive the award, and the first officer since 2015 to earn the honor within his 3rdMedical Command Deployment Support. There are about 100,000 company-grade officers currently serving.

“Your courage has to lead. You didn’t win a contest; you beat those odds because you deserved to beat the odds,” Piatt told the soldiers. “From this day forward, know that much responsibility is placed on your shoulders and we expect you to be in those difficult places and where it’s dangerous. We expect you to be first.”

Piatt had been talking about Gen. MacArthur’s career – always leading “from the front” and making decisions that sometimes defied current military logic or convention – the sort of “out of the box” thinking that put the legendary general who served in both world wars and Korea in command.

“He found a way. He did it well, did it alone and did it out front,” Piatt said.

Scott’s leadership was first honed in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was the medical officer for the Surgeon Cell at Camp Phoenix in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as part of the 226th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade located in Mobile. Four months into his nine-month rotation, he was assigned to the position of battle captain for the Kabul Base Cluster.

He’s held a number of positions post-deployment and is currently assigned to the 424thMulti-functional Medical Battalion in Newton Square, Penn. as the battalion S4/PBO. In civilian terms, he manages the battalion’s supply and logistics needs, and oversees more than $70 million worth of inventory.

It wasn’t just his degree in human services that prepared him for leadership, however, and he’s thankful for opportunities he had while on his way to becoming a Distinguished Military Graduate at TROY.

In addition to Army ROTC at TROY, Scott said his experience as a resident assistant, a Trojan Ambassador, being vice president of the University Activities Council and a member of Freshman Forum was instrumental in his development as an Army officer.

“Each opportunity provided essential tools that helped develop and enhance my competencies and attributes as a leader,” he said, “and those are applicable to my daily life.”

Beyond the experience of being involved on campus, Scott points to a number of people who influenced his career through their involvement.

“My father, John Scott, and mother, Mary Scott, James Holder, Dennis Crowe, Paul Pfeiffer, John McGinnis, Alge Morgan and Anne Glenn are just a few names out of several who have mentored, inspired, motivated and provided ‘tough love’ into my life,” he said. “Each person that God has put into my life has helped me to enhance my character and develop me for the challenges ahead.”

To that end, he’s quick to turn that around to today’s students at TROY. His advice: “It’s better to take a bumpy road to success than a smooth road to failure.”

To watch the ceremony: