Michael "Scott" Matthews succeeded Miguel Jimenez Nov. 13 as the director of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC)/597th Transportation Brigade/842nd Transportation Battalion's Pacific Northwest Detachment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
In his new position, Matthews will serve as the top lop level advisor to Lt. Col. Brad Bane, 842nd Trans. Bn. commander, and have delegation authority to act for Bane on all matters related to cargo movement throughout the PNW-DET area of responsibility.
"I'm happy to be part of the 597th family," Matthews said.
Matthews arrived to the PNW-DET after serving as the deputy director of operations/deputy S3 for SDDC's 599th Trans. Bde. at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii. His ties to SDDC trace back more than a decade when he was assigned to SDDC's Headquarters Operations Center at Fort Eustis, Virginia, from 2004-2008.
Matthews, enlisted in the Army in April 2002, and spent about six and a half years as a cargo specialist. He arrived at his first duty station (Eustis) in November 2002 and found himself on a plane to Kuwait by February 2003 - deployed to Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism as part of 6th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Group.
"We were the battalion that pushed forward with the 3rd Infantry Division into Iraq to set up all the logistics hubs along the main supply routes," Matthews said. "Our battalion was kind of leading the charge in terms of setting up those ground lines of communication. Being part of that was pretty special. I'm pretty proud of it. It was an honor."
While serving at SDDC's Headquarters Operations Center at Eustis in 2004, he was selected to be the SDDC deputy commanding general's driver. He worked for several O-7s in that role, including (at the time) Brig. Gen. James L. Hodge, who saw something in Matthews.
"He called me into his office and said, 'Scott, you have a lot of potential,'" Matthews said.
Hodge advised him of a slew of opportunities he could pursue, including the Department of the Army G4 Intern Program which he ultimately chose. He added that his experience and exposure as the DCG's driver, and in several other roles while assigned to SDDC's Headquarters Operations Center was a rewarding time in his military career.
Since graduating from the DA G4 Intern Program in 2009, Matthews has held several positions within SDDC, and remained dedicated to maximizing his potential.
"The command has given me a lot," he said. "I've worked as hard as I can throughout my career to live up to the opportunities that have been presented to me."
Matthews has a history of quickly seizing opportunity as opposed to waiting for it to knock. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology while on active duty and enrolled in the DA G4 Intern Program while still on terminal leave.
"I essentially took the uniform off, had about a month of down time and started the DA Intern Program shortly thereafter," said Matthews.
His military and civilian awards include the Superior Civilian Service Award (2), Meritorious Service Medal, Commander's Award for Civilian Service, Army Achievement Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
Learn a little more about Matthews below.
Q: Where were you born, and where did you grow up?
A: Hampton, Virginia. Half of my family is in Hampton Roads and the other half is in North Carolina.
Q: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be a lawyer.
Q: What inspired you to join the Army and pursue a career as a DOD civilian?
A: I was going to college and wasn't sure what I wanted to do and then 9/11 happened and I felt a calling. As good southern gentlemen do, when the country calls, we answer the call. I enlisted very shortly after 9/11 happened.
Q: How would you describe yourself professionally?
A: I would say knowledgeable and passionate, but grounded.
Q: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement professionally?
A: I guess my greatest professional achievement is being able to impact a multitude of SDDC organizations at vary echelons throughout my career.
Q: What hobbies do you enjoy when you are not at work?
A: I like to play golf and travel.
Q: Where have you traveled? Any place you want to travel to that you haven't seen yet?
A: I've been almost everywhere besides Australia. Australia is on the list. We've done most of Europe and quite a bit of Asia. When we were stationed with the 598th, we visited 23 countries. At some point, I want to go back to the Netherlands and Western Europe.
Q: Are you single or married? With children?
A: My wife's name is Lisa Matthews (married more than 12 years) and we're expecting our first child early next year. It's a baby boy.
Q: What's something people might not know about you?
A: I'm pretty outgoing - what you see is what you get with me typically. Sometimes to my own detriment, I'll be brutally honest with peers and leadership. I think that's what a lot of senior leaders value. I'll tell them what I believe to be the right thing to do even if it's something they don't particularly want to hear. I don't sugarcoat.
Q: Anything else you'd like to add that people know about you?
A: I'm pretty lighthearted. I like to joke on myself -- very sarcastic, very dry. I love to have a good time. I'm all about laughing at my own expense.