ADMIRAL LEIGHTON W. SMITH Jr., U.S. NAVY
Admiral Smith was born in Mobile, Alabama. He attended theNaval Academy, where he graduated with the class of '62. He received his wings in January, 1964.
As a light attack pilot, Admiral Smith flew the A4 Skyhawkand A7 Corsair during multiple deployments to the Mediterranean,North Atlantic, Western Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Thesedeployments included three combat cruises in waters off NorthVietnam, where he flew over 280 combat missions.
Admiral Smith has commanded Attack Squadron 86, Carrier AirWing 15, Light Attack Wing 1, the USS Kalamazoo (AOR 6), and theUSS America (CV 66).
Following his tour on the America, he spent a year with theStrategic Studies Group in Newport, Rhode Island, as a CNOFellow. Subsequent to his selection to flag rank in 1986, heserved as Director, Tactical Readiness Division on the staff ofthe Chief of Naval Operations, followed by command of CarrierGroup 6, deploying on the USS Forrestal (CV 59) and the USSAmerica to the North Arabian Sea, Mediterranean, and NorthAtlantic.
The admiral's next tour was as Director of Operations (J-3),United States European Command headquarters, in Stuttgart,Germany, from August 1989 to June, 1991, a time of enormouspolitical change in Europe. During his almost two years inGermany, he was directly involved in operations in direct supportof Desert Shield/Desert Storm, including combat operationsinitiated from Turkey into Iraq, evacuation of threatenedcivilians from Liberia, and humanitarian support to Kurdishrefugees in northern Iraq.
He was promoted to vice admiral in June, 1991, and servedfor two and a half years as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations forPlans, Policy and Operations. He was a major contributor to Navystaff reorganization and the development of "From the Sea," thenaval strategy for the 21st century.
Adm. Smith was selected for his fourth star and becameCommander in chief of Allied Forces Southern Europe andCommander, US Naval Forces Europe in April 1994.
The admiral has been awarded the Defense DistinguishedService Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, three Legionof Merits, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two MeritoriousService Medals, 25 strike flights and four individual award AirMedals, three Navy Commendation Medals (with combat "V") and theNavy Achievement Medal (with combat "V").
He and his wife, the former Dorothy Dunn McDowell, ofCoumbia, South Carolina, have three children: Leighton, Page, and Dee Dee.