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Department Commander

SCOTT A. REESE, DEPARTMENT COMMANDER 2019 -2020

Scott A. Reese originally hails from Ocean County, in New Jersey. However, Scott was actually born in Providence Hospital in Washington, D. C. Scott’s father, a Navy veteran of WW2, soon moved the family from tiny Riverdale, Maryland, to Toms River, New Jersey, a town known for its parades, patriotism, and its role in the Revolutionary War. Growing up in this bustling town in the 1960s and ‘70s made a tremendous impact upon him. Life revolved around family (with his brothers and a younger sister), Church, and sports. All of these were fundamentally significantly to his character development in his early life.

Following high school, Scott pursued his education in Montana, New Jersey, and Georgia. Scott completed a health sciences degree from NJ. A military opportunity arose and Scott then entered the U. S. Navy Medical Service Corps as an Environmental Health Officer in 1986. His first stop after commissioning was in Newport, RI. His first assignment in Hawaii led to a whirlwind of global travel. After a tour in northern California, Scott returned to Atlanta, Georgia, and he completed a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Emory University. An overseas tour in Guam, M. I. followed. Fifty years earlier, in WW2, Scott’s grandfather was there as a SeaBee (Carpenter’s Mate, Petty Officer 1C). Scott then had assignments in Maryland and southern California, where in 2003 he deployed in support of the War on Terror campaign during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He returned to Maryland for one last tour, finding solace in visiting the battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam.

On December 1, 2006, Scott retired from the U. S. Navy as a Lieutenant Commander while serving at the U. S. Naval Hospital Bethesda, Maryland.

With new life ahead of him and his best girl in Rhode Island, Scott then took a position with a Department of Commerce Inspection Program in New Bedford, MA, in 2007. Soon thereafter he encountered the Artillery Company of Newport, and immediately joined their ranks as a Private in Battery A. This fellowship also rekindled his interest with his genealogical background. Knowing his mother’s family was from Connecticut, Scott uncovered his primary Civil War Veteran ancestor, Rufus S. Rice (1843-1904), from Danbury. Rufus enlisted in August 1862 as a Private with the 17th Reg. of Vols. in Danbury. Rufus was one of several boys from Fairfield County who worked as “hatters.” But Rufus’ service was short-lived: he mustered out in January 1863 in Virginia with a medical discharge due to injury. Rufus’ brother, James T., enlisted at the same time but served the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry as a saddler. He served until July 1865. Another veteran found in Scott’s family tree also enlisted in August 1862. Pvt. David S. Barnum, 23rd Reg. of CT Volunteers, was on Scott’s maternal grandmother’s side. As a result, Scott’s mother had lineage to Union veterans on both her mother’s (Barnum) and father’s side (Rufus). Scott and his son joined as members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in February, 2013. Since then, Scott has served as Junior Vice Commander and Commander of Governors Elisha Dyer Camp 7, and as Council, Patriotic Instructor, and Junior Vice Commander of the Department of Rhode Island. Scott is now second in his family to become a Department Commander. Rufus Rice’s son Harry (1878-1960) from Danbury was also a Department Commander in the Connecticut SUVCW in 1927.

Scott is married to Susan Mazzarella, from Pennsylvania. They reside in East Providence (Riverside) Rhode Island. Scott’s son Matthew W. Reese lives in Providence, RI.

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