Scott Smith is a retired U.S. Air Force professional with over 20 years’ operational military experience and a proven track record in the areas of training and personnel development, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) instruction, worldwide Combat, Search and Rescue (CSAR) operations and personnel recovery.
As Mountain Shepherd prepares to open a West Coast location in the rugged and scenic Tillamook State Forest in Oregon, just 45 minutes west of Portland, Scott took some time to answer a few questions.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in New York and moved to Virginia when I was an infant. Raised in good ol’ Danville, Virginia (my mother is still there, my brother is in Northern Va.).
Were you outdoorsy as a kid?
Spent the majority of my time running around farms and woods of Pittsylvania County. Grew up pulling tobacco.
What made you want to join the Air Force?
I joined the Air Force with my best friend and wanted to explore what the world had to offer.
Why did you become a survival instructor?
I became I survival instructor to challenge myself and because I like people and talking.
It’s my forte (I do a lot of it) and because I truly believed it could save a life.
I spent the remainder of my career flying in Combat Search and Rescue which dovetailed nicely with SERE as they are both considered part of the Guardian Angel Package.
Why do you want to lead the Mountain Shepherd West Coast project?
I’ve spent 23 years dedicated to serving my country and ensuring that people were prepared to survive. I believe in the survival motto of “return with honor” as well as the rescue motto of “that others may live.”
Almost weekly I read a story or watch a news program that talks about someone being lost or stranded. Some return, some don’t.
By offering a real survival course, teaching real skills, I can continue to practice those same survival and rescue beliefs.
The collaboration with Mountain Shepherd was the most logical, since its name and reputation are unparalleled.
I merely hope to help show what real reparedness is and believe in this ever-changing world we live in that it’s imperative to give people what they truly need. That is what Mountain Shepherd is all about.