Master Chief Petty Officer Smith became the Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard on August 1, 1973. He is the second enlisted man to hold the post of enlisted advisor to the Commandant.
Master Chief Smith kept his finger on the pulse beat of the enlisted ranks throughout the service, hearing general complaints and suggestions among his other duties, and maintained a liaison with his counterparts in the other four armed services.
He enlisted in the Coast Guard on September 20, 1949, and after recruit training served on board the buoy tender USCGC RHODODENDRON, based at Seattle, WA. After attending Yeoman School at the Coast Guard Training Center, Groton, Conn., in 1950, he returned to Seattle to serve in the Operations Division, 13th Coast Guard District. Following a tour of sea duty onboard the USCGC BERING STRAIT in the Pacific out of Honolulu from September 1952 to May 1954, he returned again to Seattle to serve as Yeoman in the Personnel division of the 13th District office.
There followed tours of duty at the Marine Inspection Office, Guam, M. I., Coast Guard Air Station, Port Angeles, Wash., the Personnel Division at the 17th Coast Guard District office, Juneau, Alaska, Coast Guard Air Station, San Diego, Calif., and the Personnel Division of the 11th Coast Guard District office at Long Beach, Calif. From March 1968 to March 1969, he served on board the icebreaker USCGC STATEN ISLAND, operating out of Seattle. He then returned to the Personnel Division in the 13th District. Meanwhile, he had advanced to the rate of two-star Master Chief Yeoman on July 1, 1966.
While Master Chief Smith was serving his last tour of duty at Seattle, he was selected as the second Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard by the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Chester K. Bender.
Master Chief Smith's service medals and awards include the following: Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal with silver star, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal.