From Air Force lawyer to pro soccer player, alumnus pursues every passion – St. Olaf College

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From Air Force lawyer to professional football player, the former student pursues all passions

Anna Scott 2004 came to St. Olaf College with two specific goals: to play for the women’s soccer team and to prepare for a career as a lawyer.

Anna Scott ’04

Nearly two decades later, Scott has turned both of those college goals into successful careers: she’s a member of the U.S. Virgin Islands national soccer team and a prosecutor for the U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General’s Office and the Army of American look.

“I’m very proud and feel very lucky to be able to put on the Air Force uniform,” said Scott, who is a major in the Air Force. “And I love football – everywhere I went with the Air Force, I always found football teams.

Scott played on the St. Olaf women’s soccer team for her entire college career. After graduating from St. Olaf, where she majored in political science and German, she attended John Marshall Law School in Chicago. After becoming a lawyer, she joined the corps of the Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG). JAG officers perform many Air Force lawful functions, from being prosecutors for criminal misconduct to managing environmental issues.

“The position is one that can have a major impact on people’s lives,” says Scott. “I can do something that makes a difference.”

About a year into her JAG service, Scott was deployed in 2010 to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, captured al-Qaeda members and other suspected terrorists were sent to Guantanamo Bay detention center to await prosecution.

“I worked with the investigative agencies that interviewed inmates in the camps, and I was their legal adviser,” Scott explains. “It was a truly unique experience.”

In addition to her ongoing work as a senior attorney for the Air Force, Scott also serves as an assistant attorney general specializing in the prosecution of child abuse and sexual violence cases in the U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General’s Office. Previously, she was an assistant district attorney for the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office in San Antonio, Texas.

Throughout her impressive legal and military career, Scott has always remained drawn to soccer. She continued to play on teams and sports played a vital role in some of the most important aspects of her life. That’s how she met her husband, who was playing on a social sports team while she was stationed in San Antonio. His job is what moved their family from Texas to the Virgin Islands two years ago, and it led to his new role on the national soccer team.

“Everything is interdependent,” says Scott.

Just a few months ago, she was asked to play for the US Virgin Islands women’s national soccer team for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and two internal friendlies. Playing on the team feels like an extra part-time job for Scott, but she’s grateful that she decided to take the risk and make the time to play.

Anna Scott '04 plays for the US Virgin Islands women's national soccer team.
Anna Scott ’04 plays for the US Virgin Islands women’s national soccer team.

“I think a lot of it is just being open,” Scott says. “You don’t expect this, but if you’re open to what life can do and are willing to take risks sometimes, you can do cool things. Short answer: I didn’t see it coming Two years ago I couldn’t have told you what my life would be like My daughters watched me play football at a professional level when I was 40. Now they know it’s all really possible ! “

You don’t expect this, but if you’re open to what life can do and are willing to take risks sometimes, you can do some cool things. … My daughters saw me play football at a professional level when I was 40. Now they know that really anything is possible!Anna Scott ’04

As she balances both her rigorous professional endeavors and her new commitment to football, which she says would be impossible without the support of her husband and parents, Scott reflects on her time at St. Olaf – one of the first places that showed him the value of pursuing several passions at the same time. After leaving the continental United States, Scott is especially grateful for the perspective she gained on life outside the United States while in college.

Anna Scott ’04 with her husband and children.

“The world is bigger than us – we just try to explore it and have positive impacts wherever we go,” says Scott. “I think a liberal arts college like St. Olaf teaches us that. We talk about why it’s important to be diverse and learn a lot of different things, people, and cultures. I think it’s absolutely a building block of my life and how I’ve approached it.

The world is bigger than us – we just try to explore it and have a positive impact on it wherever we go. I think a liberal arts college like St. Olaf teaches us that. We talk about why it’s important to be diverse and learn a lot of different things, people, and cultures. I think it’s absolutely a building block of my life and how I’ve approached it.Anna Scott ’04

Scott says college isn’t about the grades you earn or the GPA you leave with — in fact, she’s now able to laugh at her less-than-stellar performance in a geology class at St. Olaf. Success can be achieved despite initial setbacks that seem insurmountable, she says. She notes that the college experience goes far beyond academics — it’s about learning how to build lasting relationships.

“I have friendships from that time that are more precious than anything in the world,” Scott says. “I have so many good experiences and fond memories of St. Olaf. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect all the time, just keep doing the things that matter.

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