NAVAL STATION ROOSEVELT ROADS, Puerto Rico (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Kevin P. Green relinquished command of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command to Rear Adm. Vinson E. Smith in a ceremony held on Friday, Sept. 20.
A native of Tennessee, Rear Adm. Smith graduated from Tennessee Technological University in 1974. After commissioning, he reported to the Precommissioning Unit for USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Following Surface Warfare Qualifications, three division officer tours, and three deployments in Nimitz, he completed two years at the Naval Amphibious School, Little Creek, Va., as an instructor.
Smith served as a department head in the guided missile destroyers USS Charles F. Adams (DDG 2) and USS Luce (DDG 38). In 1987, he reported to USS Tattnall (DDG 19) as executive officer. He has earned two master's degrees - one in Strategic Studies and National Defense from the Naval War College and a second (International Relations) from Salve Regina University in 1990.
Following a Joint Duty Assignment to U.S Central Command and the Gulf War, Rear Admiral Smith assumed command of the guided missile frigate USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) in 1992. In August 1994, he returned to the staff of Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet as the Combat Systems/C4I officer.
Smith assumed command of Naval Station, San Diego in 1996. In August 1999, he reported to the staff of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, serving as Director, Personal Readiness and Community Support, Washington Liaison Detachment. He later served as Branch Head for Plans and Policy (N461) for the Shore Installation Management Division (N46). Most recently, Rear Admiral Smith served as Commander, Navy Region Northwest/Commander, Naval Surface Group, Pacific Northwest and Commander, Task Force 33.
Rear Adm. Green leaves after two years as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command. He will be promoted to the rank of vice admiral and assume duties as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policy and Operations in Washington, D.C.