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 were aboard the USS Texas (CGN 39). After earning a master’s degree 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 Division (N70) and served as the executive assistant to the Director of Surface Warfare (N76).
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 was subsequently assigned to the Joint Staff where he served on a special project as a special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations. He then served as special assistant to two Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the director of their Chairman’s Action Group. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the executive assistant to the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet and the commander, U.S. Pacific Command.