The Birds Eye View Project, a Dallas-based non-profit founded by former U.S. Navy SEAL Ryan Parrott to bring attention to organizations serving the needs of wounded veterans and first responders through extreme events, stunts and stories, recently hired Melissa’s Mitchell Arnold, U.S. Marine Corps First Sergeant (Retired), as its new executive director.

“Birds Eye View Project has a tremendous opportunity to expand its support for organizations that serve the extreme needs of our veterans and first responders, and we are excited to bring Mitchell on board to help lead that growth,” Parrott said. “His background, personal experience, enthusiasm and diligence are exactly what BEVP needs to enable our beneficiaries to reach new levels in serving their constituents.”

Arnold comes to BEVP directly from Benchmark Mortgage, which he joined upon retiring in August 2017 after 20 years of distinguished service with the Marine Corps. With Benchmark, Arnold served as a loan officer and headed the Plano and McKinney branch VA home loan program. He also served on the board of advisors for Benchmark’s Boot’n and Shoot’n, an annual event that supports organizations focused on brain injury treatment and mental health for veterans and first responders.

“Having received medical treatment and counseling myself from a wonderful non-profit after my military career, I know how important it is to support the many organizations serving the needs of our veterans and first responders,” Arnold said. “I’m blessed to join Birds Eye View Project and work every day to provide a bigger platform and more funding for organizations that might be overlooked. I look forward to expanding on the already great successes of BEVP and working with our team and corporate partners to achieve even greater heights.”

Arnold enlisted in the Marines on August 5, 2017, and after Recruit Training, Marine Combat Training and Radio Operations Training was transferred to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Promoted to Lance Corporal in May 1998, Arnold served with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, Battalion Landing Team 2/2 as a Field Radio Operator and was deployed for seven months in the Mediterranean Sea.

After a series of additional promotions and professional training, Arnold served with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, Battalion Landing Team 2/6 as an Assistant Radio Chief in Operation Enduring Freedom in Djibouti, Africa. In February 2005, Arnold was assigned to the 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Radio Supervisor, and in June 2006 deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Battalion Radio Chief.

In January of 2008, Arnold began Drill Instructor School MCRD in San Diego. Upon completion of the school, Arnold was assigned to Company K, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. He was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant in October 2008, and was subsequently assigned as a Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor and Chief Drill Instructor for Company K. Arnold was then transferred to Company I where he served as the Lead Series Chief Drill Instructor. He was selected to serve his last year on MCRD San Diego as the Regimental Drill Master, responsible for all drill and ceremonies aboard the Depot.

In December 2011, Arnold was assigned as the Company First Sergeant for Charlie Company where he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Arnold began the last chapter of his military career in July of 2014 when he began serving as the Inspector-Instructor First Sergeant in Topeka, Kansas. In addition to being the senior-enlisted for the Inspector-Instructor staff, Arnold began serving the broader Topeka community as lead for military funeral honors, supervisor for the Toys for Tots program for 14 counties, joined the Marine Corps League and served as a voting member of the Topeka Military Relations Committee.

First Sergeant Arnold’s personal awards and commendations include the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal; the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star; and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Since his active duty retirement, Arnold has been an enthusiastic supporter and member of multiple veteran organizations. Currently, he is an active member of the Metroplex Marines Coordinating Council, Frisco VFW Post 8273, and is a founding member of the future Patriot Park Veteran and First Responder Resource Center of Plano.