Captain Smith was born in Lowville, New York on February 10, 1956. After graduating from Town of Webb High School in Old Forge, New York in 1974, Captain Smith attended State University of New York Maritime College. He graduated from the institution in 1978 after earning a Bachelor of Science in Maritime Transportation.
Immediately upon graduation from the State University of New York Maritime College, Captain Smith was employed by Tidewater Offshore Marine Services from June 1978 to December 1978. In February 1979, Captain Smith joined Military Sealift Command and was assigned to USNS PAWCATUCK as the 3rd Officer and Cargo Officer. Over the next several years, Captain Smith served aboard USNS WILKES, USNS TRUCKEE, USNS HENRY J. KAISER (as a plank owner), and numerous other MSC vessels.
On August 8, 1988 Captain Smith was promoted to Master in Military Sealift Command. His commands have consisted of USNS MOHAWK (twice); USNS SUPPLY, USNS APACHE, USNS HAYES (three times), USNS ZEUS, USNS HENSON, USNS PATHFINDER, USNS SIRIUS, USNS SUMNER, USNS JOHN LENTHALL, USNS GLOVER, USNS RIGEL, USNS MAURY, USNS VANGUARD, and USNS WACCAMAW. Of note, Captain Smith was Plankowner Master aboard USNS RIGEL, USNS GLOVER, USNS SUMNER, USNS HENSON, and USNS GRAPPLE.
His accomplishments and awards include Smart ship awards aboard USNS HENRY J. KAISER, USNS VANGUARD, USNS SIRIUS, USNS SATURN; CNO Letter of Commendation aboard USNS PATHFINDER; and Special Act Awards aboard USNS ZEUS, USNS HAYES, USNS VANGUARD, USNS APACHE.