Raised in Green's Farms, Connecticut, Vice Admiral Dixon R. Smith entered the Naval Academy Preparatory School in 1978. After receiving his commission from the United States Naval Academy in 1983, he was designated a surface warfare officer in 1985.
Smith’s first sea tour was aboard USS Miller (FF 1091), serving as first lieutenant and damage control assistant. Follow-on service at sea included operations officer aboard USS Jarrett (FFG 33), participating in Operation Desert Storm; operations officer aboard USS Gridley (CG 21), participating in the establishment of Operation Southern Watch over Southern Iraq; and executive officer aboard USS Antietam (CG 54).
Assignments ashore include duty at Naval Education and Training Center, Newport, Rhode Island, as seamanship instructor, and service as aide to the Naval Inspector General, Washington, D.C. Duties in Naples, Italy, as deputy executive assistant to commander in chief, Allied Forces, Southern Europe/Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe, included service in support of the Joint Forces Commander, Operation Allied Force, and Commander, Joint Task Force Noble Anvil during NATO’s operations in Kosovo. Additionally, he served a tour at the United States Naval Academy as 4th Battalion officer and Plebe Summer officer in charge.
He has commanded USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), Naval Base San Diego, Navy Region Hawaii, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, Navy Region Southwest, and Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.
Smith holds a master’s degree in Business from Webster University, and is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.