Brandon Scott, Current Sentinel
Special Operator First Class Petty Officer, U.S. Navy
Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, Montana State University
Growing up, Brandon spent his childhood seeing his father, uncles, and grandfather all serve their country with pride. Something sparked within him igniting aspirations to become part of the elite special forces group, the Navy SEALs. He joined the U.S. Navy shortly after graduating high school and began his path toward completing the rigorous training required to earn the title of Navy SEAL Special Operator. After spending his first 2 years as an Aviation Ordnanceman, Brandon applied to and successfully graduated from SEAL training spending a total of 9 years active duty as a part of SEAL Teams and at one point as a land-warfare instructor. During his enlistment with SEAL Team 2, Brandon completed one combat deployment to Afghanistan, and one deployment to South America.
While deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, multiple engagements that included small arms fire, and mortar attacks led to the development of tinnitus and other minor injuries as well as anxiety.During his deploymentto Peru in 2013, Brandon caught a foodborne illness that was unidentified. This inevitably led to lifelong intestinal issues that he struggles with daily, however, after working with his doctors and a nutritionist, he was able to make some major adjustments to his diet and lifestyle that helps with his symptoms and keeps his stomach in balance. It still affects him but has improved since making some major lifestyle changes. Shortly after this deployment, Brandon left the service having excelled and achieving the rank of First-Class Petty Officer (E6) andreceiving an honorable discharge.
After returning home to Montana, Brandondecided to turn something he enjoys into a career and started a small business; Fly-Ops (www.fly-ops.com), military-inspired fly-fishing apparel and gear shop. Shortly after starting his own company, he realized it would be best to get a degree in mechanical engineering so he could design and create gear to sell from his business. He has always enjoyed creating and designing products for his personal use and knew it was something he could do professionally as well. Brandon applied to Montana State University for a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, was accepted,and eagerly began his next mission. While attending MSU, Brandon became involved in the Veteran Office and started volunteering by assisting with fishing tripsand events, andvolunteering as a Special Forces Operator Mentor to the MSU football team. Brandon enjoys being able to help other veterans like himself and building that camaraderie. The community atmosphere has been beneficial to his and others’ healing and continued growth since leaving the service. It was during this time that long-time supporter, mentor, and Board member Kent Strazza told Brandon about Sentinels of Freedom and encouraged him to apply, which he did, and was accepted to the Fall 2019 Cohort.
During his time with SoF, Brandon has been provided with financial counseling and support in the form of a monthly housing subsidy for 4 years, a beneficial and meaningful mentoring connection, networking opportunities, resume-building assistance, connections with partner organizations such as the Dave Ramsey Program, Udemy, and more, and personalized support from a case manager throughout his program. Since acceptance to SoF, Brandon has been able to pay off his credit card debt and build up his savings.
Brandon is set to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in 2023 and currently lives in Montana with his wife, Ashley who works as a nurse, and their son. He hopes to continue gaining experience through internships and other opportunities to further benefit his small business and set him and his family up for success.
“Thank you for helping Veterans like me and supporting us on our way through our next career. Your support has made a huge difference in my life.”
– Brandon Scott, 2021