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Brig. Gen. James E. Smith is the Deputy U.S. Military Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium. He supports the U.S. Military Representative and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in executing the U.S. political-military mission at the North Atlantic Council.
Brig. Gen. Smith commissioned in 1997 as the top graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. His career spans numerous space operations and acquisition positions including command at the squadron, group, wing, and garrison levels. Notable staff assignments include Headquarters Air Force Space Command and the Air Staff.
Brig. Gen. Smith has deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and to the U.S. Embassy in Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Prior to his current position, Brig. Gen. Smith served as the Inaugural Commander of the Peterson-Schriever Garrison, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
1997 Bachelor of Science, Astronautical Engineering and Japanese language minor, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1999 Master of Science, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2003 Air Force Intern Program, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
2003 Certificate Program, Organizational Management, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
2007 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala. by correspondence
2010 Master of Airpower Art and Science, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2012 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2017 Master of Science, National Resource Strategy, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, Washington, D.C.
2018 Enterprise Leadership Seminar, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
1. May 1997–May 1999, Graduate Student and Charles Stark Draper Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
2. May 1999–June 2002, Global Positioning System Spacecraft Systems Engineer and Chief, GPS Spacecraft Systems Analysis, 2nd Space Operations Squadron, Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.
3. June 2002–June 2003, Intern, Air Force Intern Program, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
4. July 2003–May 2006, Chief, Space Control Demonstration Operations Flight and Wing Executive Officer, Space Superiority Materiel Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
5. June 2006–June 2008, Chief, Space Operations Division and Assistant Operations Officer, Space Operations Squadron, Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado, Buckley AFB, Colo.
6. July 2009–June 2010, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
7. July 2010–July 2012, Chief, Mission Area Architecting Branch, Directorate of Requirements, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo. (January 2012–June 2012, Program Manager and Acting Commander, Defense Contract Management Agency-Northern Afghanistan, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan)
8. August 2012–May 2014, Commander, 1st Range Operations Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
9. May 2014–May 2015, Assistant Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, Headquarters Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
10. June 2015–June 2016, Chief, Air Force and Air Defense Security Assistance Team, Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq, U.S. Embassy, Baghdad
11. July 2016–June 2017, Student, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
12. June 2017–June 2019, Commander, Air Force Element, and Chief, Mission Operations & Engineering, Royal Air Force Menwith Hill, United Kingdom
13. June 2019–July 2020, Commander, 50th Space Wing, Schriever AFB, Colo.
14. July 2020–June 2021, Commander, Peterson-Schriever Garrison, Peterson AFB, Colo.
15. July 2021–present, Deputy U.S. Military Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Committee, NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. July 2021–present, Deputy U.S. Military Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Committee, NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium, as a colonel and a brigadier general
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
1997 The Outstanding Cadet in the Order of Graduation, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2017 Distinguished Graduate, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security, Washington, D.C.
2019 National Reconnaissance Office Medal of Distinguished Performance (Gold)
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 28, 1997
First Lieutenant May 28, 1999
Captain May 28, 2001
Major Nov. 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel Dec. 1, 2011
Colonel May 1, 2016
Brigadier General Frocked
(Current as of August 2021)