Director of the U.S. Army Junior ROTC

COL Steve M. Smith
Director of the U.S. Army Junior ROTC

COL Steve M. Smith has 30 years of military service to this great country. He grew up in Covington, KY, and soon after graduating High School in 1983, he enlisted in the US Marines where he served for four years. COL Smith then enrolled at the University of Kentucky and graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. COL Smith worked as a Juvenile Treatment Assistant and a Teacher in Covington until he joined the US Army as an infantry Soldier in 1995. In 1996 COL Smith graduated from the US Army Officer Candidate’s School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery.

COL Smith served as a Battery Commander in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq from 2003-2004 where he led countless combat operations against the insurgency, conducted engagements with Iraqi leaders, and performed humanitarian missions in the volatile area of the Al Anbar Province in Western Iraq. He also trained the first Iraqi Security Forces in Western Iraq, and assisted them in planning and executing operations. Following his tour in Iraq, COL Smith served as an instructor at the Armor Officer Basic and Advanced Courses at Fort Knox, Kentucky to instruct counter-insurgency operations. As an instructor, COL Smith shared his experiences in Iraq with young officers preparing for their tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. COL Smith again deployed to Iraq in 2007-2008 as an advisor to an Iraqi Infantry Battalion in Southeast Baghdad. During his tour, he led a 10-man team to assist an Iraqi Infantry Battalion consisting of over 600 Soldiers as they planned and executed raids and searches throughout Southeast Baghdad. During these missions, COL Smith and his team fought beside the Iraqi Soldiers to develop their skills and confidence to conduct independent missions.

COL Smith’s most recent deployment was to the Regional Command in East Afghanistan in 2011-2012 with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division as the Brigade Information Operations Officer. During his tour, COL Smith coordinated the efforts of Psychological Operations, Civil Affairs, and lethal operations along the Pakistan border. He also advised Afghan Army officers as they planned operations. Many of his tactics, techniques, and procedures were later adopted by units assuming responsibility for operations in Eastern Afghanistan.

From 2012-2015 COL Smith served as the Course Director at the Information Operations Qualification Course, and instructed at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. While at Fort Leavenworth, COL Smith earned a Master’s Degree in Adult Education from Kansas State University. From 2015-2017 he served as an Inspector General at Fort Knox, KY, from 2017-2018 he attend the US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks where he earned a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies. From 2018-2020 COL Smith served as the Director of Fires and Effects in the USCENTCOM AOR at US Army Central. COL Smith is currently the JROTC Director at Cadet Command.

Personal awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals, two Army Commendation Medals with Valor-Devices, three Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal, the National Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, and various other unit and service awards.

COL Smith is married to the former Stephanie Mardis, and they have three children, Deserae (31), Bianca (29), and Cole (22).