After earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Kansas State University, in 1992, Curtis attended Officer Candidate School, and was commissioned into the United States Navy. He first served in the Engineering department of the USS Bainbridge (CGN-25). Following that commission he served as a fire control officer on the USS California (CGN-36).
In 2017 Curtis expelled a cadet who claimed he had been sexually assaulted from the ROTC program. According to USMC Life Curtis didn't believe the cadet, and thought he had invented the assault claim to distract from the fact he had been injured while engaged in underage drinking. The cadet and his supporters responded that Curtis's disbelief showed a double standard, as a female cadet would have had her claim taken at face value. Being expelled from the program means the cadet will be expected to pay back the financial support he received while in the ROTC -- estimated to be approximately $100,000.
He also served at the Jury Foreman for Majid Khan's sentencing in the fall of 2021. This service triggered scrutiny when he drafted a letter suggesting clemency, signed by all but one of his fellow jurors, after they learned that the Central Intelligence Agency had used multiple torture techniques on Khan, including anal rape.
- Carol Rosenberg (2021-11-06). "Foreman Says Military Jury Was Disgusted by C.I.A. Torture". The New York Times (Guantanamo Bay): p. A18. Archived from the original on 2021-11-08. https://web.archive.org/web/20211108021935/https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/06/us/politics/military-jury-cia-torture.html. Retrieved 2021-11-08. "'There was no sympathy for him or what he had done,' said Captain Curtis, who agreed to reveal his identity in an hourlong interview last week."
- "Captain Scott B. Curtis". Iowa State University. Archived from the original on 2018-07-07. https://web.archive.org/web/20180707063920/https://www.navy.iastate.edu/directory/captain-scott-b-curtis/. Retrieved 2021-11-08.
- "Captain Scott B. Curtis named new chair of Naval Science". Iowa State University. 2016-08-23. Archived from the original on 2021-01-19. https://web.archive.org/web/20210119180656/https://news.las.iastate.edu/2016/08/23/captain-scott-b-curtis-named-new-chair-of-naval-science/. Retrieved 2021-11-08. "Captain Curtis is a native of Manhattan, Kansas. He graduated from Kansas State University in 1992 with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and was subsequently commissioned through the Officer Candidate School."
- "Cadet on track to become Marine officer expelled for ‘false’ sexual assault charges". USMC Life. 2017-04-18. https://usmclife.com/cadet-track-become-marine-officer-expelled-false-sexual-assault-charges/. Retrieved 2021-11-08.
- Kelsey Vlamis (2021-11-06). "A Navy captain says there is widespread agreement in the military that 'torture is wrong' and that it is not a liberal viewpoint". Yahoo News. Archived from the original on 2021-11-08. https://web.archive.org/web/20211108095155/https://news.yahoo.com/navy-captain-says-widespread-agreement-020638759.html. Retrieved 2021-11-08. "Curtis spoke with the Times' Carol Rosenberg last week, revealing himself as the author of a letter signed by a military jury that condemned the CIA's use of torture."