OSD Global Community Thrives Thanks to Scott Morrison’s Mentorship and Leadership
by Staff Writer, Ann Green
A 27-year Army Veteran, Sergeant Major (Retired) Scott Morrison is Director of Global Community Operations for OSD (Operation Supply Drop). He has served in this full-time position since November 2017, when he was promoted from Program Director of The Teams (Internal name for OSD’s community program).
Morrison works with dozens of OSD chapters within 7 Regions– with thousands of members — worldwide. “My goal is to continue to build a community of military, veterans and civilians,” says Morrison, “who enjoy each other’s company, help those in need and feel accepted for who they are. I’m dedicated to changing the lives of veterans every day.” OSD members have given tens of thousands of hours of their time to implement a wide array of programs for military, veterans and civilians in need.
Morrison’s OSD colleagues know him as a man who likes to take on the most challenging tasks. He is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm where he served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. Morrison also served as Senior Operations and Training Coordinator for the US Army Special Operations Command in Ft. Bragg in North Carolina and as a Ranger Instructor at Camp Rudder in Florida.
“Instead of just having drinks with the guys, I really wanted to reach out, to find and meet the needs of underserved populations,” says Morrison. “I want the programs we’re involved in to be meaningful as well as social. Gaming as an initial focus was great, but that’s only a part of what we’re about. OSD has award-winning programs geared towards our Active Duty Members while serving and through their transition to civilian life.” Morrison has organized projects to help the homeless, including homeless veterans. He has also coordinated area beautification projects and refurbished numerous for Veterans. In Phoenix, his chapter volunteered to build medical kits with Project C.U.R.E. which were sent to children in developing nations. “Veterans and civilians came together and it worked very well,” he recalls. “When the chapter was through they socialized over pizza.” In San Antonio and Austin veterans and civilians together collected clothes and personal hygiene products for the San Antonio Hope Center Church and the Veterans Outreach Center in Dallas.
Morrison began his transition to civilian life in 2014 when he left Fort Bragg and returned home to Seguin, one of the oldest towns in Texas. “At the time I didn’t know any vets in the area. It was a challenge. I didn’t have a lot in common with family or with the people I met. Sometimes it seemed as if there was no one to talk to,” he recalls. “Then I was talking on the phone with my friend Ray Whittaker (then COO of OSD), who I served with at Ft Bragg, NC. He was volunteering with veterans support organizations and told me about OSD.”
Morrison enjoys going out with younger vets as well as vets his age and finds a great deal of satisfaction in helping them in their transition to civilian life. “It helped my transition, too,” he says. “Our events gave me a real sense of purpose. Not all of our programs raise money. We don’t ask anything in return. We’re just there to support vets.” There are a number of veterans who call him on a regular for mentorship and to be able to talk things out with someone who understands.
Along with camaraderie and community-building projects, Morrison believes in fitness as being integral to therapy and community. Recently, OSD will hosted a Team of five veterans to compete in the 24th Annual Memorial Bataan Death March, a 26-mile course through the White Sands Missile Range in Southern New Mexico. Thousands participate in this yearly event, which winds through the high desert terrain. The march is a living memorial to the US servicemen who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II and who were part of the forcible transfer, in 1942, of Filipino and American POWs by the Japanese. Hundreds of Americans and Filipinos died during the march, estimated to have covered 60 to 70 miles. The event was judged by an Allied military commission to be a war crime.
OSD credits Morrison with helping chapter leaders become more confident in their abilities to grow their teams, while planning more events and creating a strong social group in their local communities. His recent attendance at the PAX South expo in Texas provided an opportunity to meet with many of his chapter Leaders and community supporters. He also attended PAX East in support of members of the Coast Guard.
An avid hunter and fisher, Morrison brings veterans to his property for adventures in hog hunting. “Heroes Gone Wild (a group which connects military and first responders with support organizations) is a good conduit to get vets to go hunting and fishing,” says Morrison. “So in 2017 I brought them under OSD and started an outdoor program for hunting, fishing and camping. I’m very proud to get the guys out for these activities. The main thing is to let them know we’re here for them and get them comfortable as they transition to their new environment.”
Morrison is particularly pleased with how OSD volunteers responded to Hurricane Harvey, which devastated parts of Houston, the Texas Gulf Coast and Louisiana in 2017. He and his volunteers responded aggressively. “We organized a collection point at Austin/San Antonio,” says Morrison. “We helped the Cajun Navy (a volunteer group of private boat owners who assist in search and rescue) with their efforts in Louisiana and adjacent areas by cooking meals for those displaced by the hurricane.” He also managed the Rockport distribution center to deliver needed supplies. “We jet-skied people so that they could return to their flooded homes and recover what they could, including important papers and prescriptions. Then we got them to high ground. “
Morrison’s philosophy is, “They tell me what needs to be done and I ensure that it gets done.” Morrison, who attended Gadsden State Community College in Alabama, has been married to hometown girl Michelle for 35 years. They have two sons — one an Austin police officer, the other an Army Ranger – as well as a daughter and two grandchildren.
“I joined OSD because I wanted to be part of a team with a vision to impact veteran’s lives each day,” says Morrison. “I have always had a sense of duty to give back to our veterans and, after reading about all the programs and initiatives OSD provides, I knew this was something I wanted to be involved in. OSD provides me an opportunity to give back to the men and women that have sacrificed so much for our country and I am proud to call myself a member of OSD.” Morrison’s goals include helping current teams grow while continuing to bring local chapters to other locations that do not currently have one.