Rear Adm. Smith is currently the commander of Carrier Strike Group Three/USS John C. Stennis Strike Group. He is a 1983 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and his first division officer assignments following nuclear power training were aboard the USS Texas (CGN 39). After earning a master’s degree in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School, he reported as combat systems officer in the USS Leftwich (DD 984) where he participated in Operation Desert Storm.
He was the last operational chief engineer on USS Bainbridge (CGN 25), served as a junior officer detailer in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington D.C., and was executive officer on USS Chosin (CG 65).
He then served as flag secretary to the Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet during the build-up to and operations in Kosovo. In July 2000, he reported as commanding officer in USS Porter (DDG 78) after which he served in the Chief of Naval Operations’ Warfare Assessment (N70) and Surface Warfare (N76) Divisions.
Smith served as commander, Destroyer Squadron 23 and as the Sea Combat Commander for the Nimitz Strike Group. On deployment, he also served as the deputy task force commander for coalition maritime operations in the Northern Arabian Gulf where he worked directly with both the Iraqi Navy and Multi-National Forces in Southeast Iraq.
Smith subsequently served as special assistant to two Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the director of their Chairman’s Action Group. After that he served as the executive assistant to the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet and the Commander, U.S. Pacific Command. Prior to his current assignment, he served as Director, Strategy and Policy Division (OPNAV N51).