Navy Biography

Rear Admiral Gregory J. Smith

Retired Oct. 1, 2011

Rear Admiral Gregory J. Smith


Rear Adm. (ret) Greg Smith, a career Navy public affairs officer, served his last assignment as deputy chief of staff, communication at the NATO International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces Afghanistan where he was responsible for all communication activities in the Afghanistan theatre, including public affairs, military information support operations and traditional communication. He was promoted to rear admiral upper half following assignment to this position in June 2009.

Previously, Smith was director of communication for United States Central Command, during a period of critical counterinsurgency operations, partnership-building and humanitarian assistance across 20 nations.

From 2007-08, he served as principal spokesman and chief of public affairs for Multi-National Force-Iraq during the war’s pivotal surge.

Smith was the U.S. Navy chief of information in 2006-07, managing the Navy public affairs community, and serving as the principal spokesman for the Department of the Navy and strategic communication counsel to the secretary of the Navy and the chief of naval operations.

At the time of his selection as a flag officer in May 2006, Smith served as special assistant for public affairs to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Additional joint and NATO experience included serving as director of public affairs, U.S. Joint Forces Command and chief of public information for NATO Allied Command, Transformation. During this period, he developed the Joint Public Affairs Support Element, which provides combatant commanders with expeditionary public affairs, exercise and mission rehearsal training, and joint public affairs proponency.

Other public affairs tours of duty included three overseas assignments to Guam, Italy, and Japan. At-sea assignments included the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship, USS Belknap (CG 26) and the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19).

Other assignments included tours in the Pentagon as special assistant to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition; and as media desk officer and later director of media operations for Headquarters, Navy Public Affairs.

He also served as director of public affairs for Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Submarine Forces, Atlantic Fleet and Naval Air Station Whiting Field/Training Air Wing 5.

A native of Dubuque, Iowa, Smith was commissioned in 1982 after receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Marketing from the University of Iowa. He was a 1997 honors graduate of Old Dominion University receiving a master’s degree in public administration.

Smith’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), Legion of Merit (two awards), Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), and Joint Service Commendation Medal (two awards).


Updated: 12 July 2013