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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

USS Whidbey Island (LSD-41)

CDR. Richard A. Smith, USN

CDR Richard A. Smith earned his undergraduate degree from Campbell University in 1995. He joined the Navy on 18th of August 1997 at RTC Great Lakes. Upon graduation of boot camp, LCDR Smith entered the nuclear training pipeline at NTC Orlando as a Machinist Mate. He later attended NPTU in Charleston, SC on USS SAMUAL RAYBURN (MTS-635). He was selected upon graduation to be a Staff Pick-up Instructor for 2 years on MTS-635. He was selected for Officer Candidate School in March of 2001. He received his commission in the Navy on October 13th, 2001 in Pensacola, Florida.

He has completed six sea tours and seven deployments as Gunnery Officer/ Assistant Combat Systems Officer on USS TAYLOR (FFG 50) stationed in Mayport, Florida, Main Propulsion Assistant on USS FORT MCHENRY (LSD 43) and USS TORTUGA (LSD 46) stationed in Sasebo, Japan, Engineering Officer on USS CURTIS WILBUR (DDG 54) stationed in Yokosuka, Japan and USS CAPE ST GEORGE (CG 71) stationed in San Diego, California and his last tour as Executive Officer on USS ARLINGTON stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. His deployments have included a Fifth Fleet deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), several deployments in Seventh Fleet area of operation, deployments to Seventh Fleet to participate in CARAT (Cooperation, Afloat, Readiness and Training) with multiple Southeast Asian nations, as well as one to Seventh Fleet in support of OEF, supported Tsunami humanitarian efforts in 2005, support salvage operations during the sinking of ROKS CHEONAN and support for Operation Tomodachi. He served as the Deputy Commander of Provincial Reconstruction Team in Uruzgan, Afghanistan for the final phase of operations.

His shore tours have included the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where he earned a Masterís Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Also, he served as a Commander Assessor for Engineering Assessments Pacific in San Diego, California.

His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (two gold stars), the Army Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal (two gold stars), the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, ISAF service medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. He was also awarded the Order of the Griffin by the Delaware National Guard for his superior leadership and support provided to the Delaware National Guard.

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