Expanding of perspective: Clinton mayor shares his military experience

Nov. 11—CLINTON — Clinton Mayor Scott Maddasion isn't able to talk about the confidential information he handled as a network intelligence analyst in the Air Force just two years after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

His experience in the military during that time, though, has inevitably affected his approach to his position in local government.

"Even though we're not dealing with national stuff at the local level," he said, "we're still dealing with people that love the state of Iowa, they love the city of Clinton, they love the United States, and I think we can all agree that we're the greatest country in the world, but we have to all work together to make it that way and I think it starts at the local level."

Maddasion initially had intended to go to college for a history major after graduating from Clinton High School in 2003. He wanted to be a teacher and coach basketball.

Even though he was accepted at Iowa State University and had a dorm and roommate lined up, he began to feel apprehensive about what it was going to cost him financially.

At the suggestion of family members, Maddasion went to Davenport to meet with an Air Force recruiter and signed up shortly after.

In Des Moines, he took the ASVAB aptitude test for job placement. Because he is color blind, he was given a smaller selection of jobs to choose from as compared to others entering the military. He found he was interested in the description accompanying the title of Network Intelligence Analyst. This position entails a focus on networks of communication and the use of them to collect information about targets or locations in support of military procedures.

Maddasion went to San Antonio, Texas, for nine weeks of basic training. He then went to west Texas for technical training and received orders to go to Misawa Air Base in Japan.

Maddasion was disappointed that he wasn't sent to Germany as he had hoped, but now doesn't regret the opportunity to experience Japan's culture. The amount of people in Tokyo, however, could be a little overwhelming.

"The relationship between the military and the local folks was outstanding," he said. "The job itself, it's really not any different than what we experience. I mean, you go to work, you have your tasks ... just, the difference is, you know, a lot of things you do affect national security."

Some days, the unit would have only extremely minimal findings. On others, they'd have something that might end up in the U.S. president's daily brief. Either way, the information is classified for the duration of 70 years.

Not long after Maddasion had arrived in Japan, he was chosen by the commander of the unit to give morning briefings, which was an unusual task for someone with a lower rank.

"All the different offices would bring an intel report together," he said, "and then every morning that would be given to the colonel who was the commander of the entire intel unit over there."

Maddasion was also the one out of 50 to 75 people to earn early rank promotion through the senior airman "Below the Zone" program.

If he had stayed, Maddasion said he would be able to retire just a month and a half from now. But he doesn't regret coming back when he did in November of 2007.

"It's difficult to leave home right away," he said. "I have two little brothers. They're five and 10 years younger than me, and I missed a lot of them growing up."

From Japan, Maddasion went to Fort Mead in Maryland and decided he would go to college. He enrolled at Clinton Community College for a few general education courses to get started, then moved in the summer of 2008 to Chicago to attend Columbia College for a year. From there, he joined his brother Nate at Iowa State University and returned to Clinton to finish his bachelors of arts in finance and business administration at Ashford University and then his masters of business administration from Liberty University.

In July of 2012, Maddasion became a loan officer at Aegis Credit Union.

He met his now-wife Morgan just a few years later with whom he has two sons, 3-year-old Bennett and 1-year-old Cooper.

"I would hope that my kids choose the same path," he said, "because I think it changes your perspective on things and it really does affect you for your entire life even after you get out."

Maddasion was elected for his first term as mayor from January of 2020 to December of 2023. He will remain for a second term after running uncontested earlier this week in Clinton's City/School Election.

The comfort he gained from delivering morning briefings in the military has translated to his comfort speaking in front of crowds as mayor.

"I think the discipline you learn in the military, it helps you in every aspect of your life going forward," he said. "Clinton's my home. I had a wonderful time growing up here, and I don't have anything negative to say about Clinton. I think I had a very positive experience, and I just want to be a part of that for my kids."