CMSgt Gregory Smith, USAF
Senior Enlisted Leader, USSOCOM
32nd Annual NDIA SO/LIC Symposium
Command Chief Master Sergeant Gregory A. Smith is the tenth Command Senior Enlisted Leader, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), MacDill AFB, Florida. He assumed the position on July 11, 2019. USSOCOM is one of eleven combatant commands within the Department of Defense unified command structure.
Chief Smith entered The United States Air Force in 1990 as an aircraft armament systems specialist. His initial assignment was with the 3246th Test Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. In 1993, Chief Smith was reassigned to the 355th Fighter Squadron, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska where he served as a weapons load crew member on A/OA-10 aircraft. He completed multiple deployments to the pacific theater.
Chief Smith was selected for special duty as an AC-130H/U Aerial Gunner in 1996. He served as Lead, Instructor, and Evaluator Gunner with the 4th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida. He also served as the superintendent of Wing Strategic Plans with the 16th Special Operations Wing. In September 2001, Chief Smith was part of the first team to deploy following the terror attacks on 9/11. He established the first forward operating base and then deployed to Pakistan where he established a joint interagency forward operating location. In 2009, Chief Smith became the first course director and chief of academics for the Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy (JSOFSEA).
In January 2012, Chief Smith was selected for Command Chief Master Sergeant for the 58th Special Operations Wing where he oversaw the training and readiness for special operations and combat rescue personnel. Chief Smith was selected as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader for Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) in 2013. While at SOCEUR, he led special operations forces through multiple contingencies in Ukraine, Turkey, and operations in Syria. In 2015, Chief Smith became the Command Senior Enlisted Leader for NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ). In this role, he synchronized Allied Special Operations Forces for employment in support of NATO missions across the globe. Chief Smith’s last assignment was the Command Chief Master Sergeant, Air Force Special Operations Command.
Chief Smith has deployed multiple times throughout his career, supporting operations in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa. He has flown more than 3500 hours in the AC-130H/U/J, HH-60H, and various aircraft, including 1400 combat hours. He has completed all professional military education, the Summit Course, and the Keystone Course at the National Defense University. Chief Smith’s awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Medal w/Valor with nine oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Combat Action Medal, Polish Medal with Gold Bar, Lithuanian Armed Forces Medal for Special Operations, and the NATO Medal for Yugoslavia .
Chief Smith graduated Suma Cum Laude from Henley-Putnam University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science with a concentration in Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies.