Lieutenant General Norman H. Smith



Norman H. Smith retired from the Marine Corps on 1 August 1991.

General Norman H. Smith was born 28 March 1933 in Bucyrus, Ohio. He received his B.S. degree in Physical Education in June, 1955 from the University of Arkansas and was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Marine Corps Officers Candidate Course in December 1955. He also holds an M.S. degree in Physical Education (Physiology) from The Ohio State University (1969).

Upon completion of The Basic School at Quantico, Virginia, General Smith reported to the 2d Infantry Training Regiment, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, and later to the 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, where he served as a Company Executive Officer and Commander of Company H. Following a tour of duty as Executive Officer, Marine Detachment USS Hancock in 1958 and 1959, he reported to the U.S. Naval Base, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, for duty as Guard Officer, and later, Executive Officer. He was promoted to captain in June 1961.

In November 1962, he was assigned to the 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where he served as Commander, Company C, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, and then an Assistant Battalion Operations Officer. In July 1965, General Smith reported to the Military Assistance Command in Vietnam, for duty as Senior Advisor to the 3d Battalion, 3d Regiment, 1st ARVN Division, located north of Hue.

Returning to the U.S. in June 1966, he was assigned to the NROTC Unit, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, where he served as Marine Officer Instructor until 1969. He was promoted to major on 1 July 1966. Following a short tour in the 5th Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, as Assistant Operations Officer, G-3, he returned to Southeast Asia in July 1970 for duty as Assistant Operations Officer, G-3, 1st Marine Division, and later as Executive Officer, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines. Upon redeployment to the U.S. he became the Battalion's Commanding Officer.

In 1971-72, General Smith attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College at Quantico, graduating with honors. From 1972-1973, he served as Assistant Director, Marine Corps Physical Fitness Academy at Quantico, where he was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 1 July 1972. The following month, he transferred to Cleveland, Ohio for duty as Inspector-Instructor, 3d Battalion, 25th Marines, 4th Marine Division, USMCR. In August 1975, he became a member of the bicentennial class of the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama, graduating with distinction.

Following graduation in July 1976, General Smith reported to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., where he performed the duties of Action Officer, Service Planner, and Deputy Director of Plans Division, Plans and Policies Department. While serving in this assignment he was promoted to colonel on 1 July 1978.

Following his assignment at Headquarters, he assumed the duties as Fleet Marine Officer on the Staff of Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet, aboard USS Puget Sound, Gaeta, Italy. While serving in this capacity, he was selected in February, 1982 for promotion to brigadier general. On 23 June 1982, he was assigned duty as the Assistant Division Commander, 2d Marine Division, FMF, Atlantic, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and promoted to brigadier general on 1 August 1982.

During the period 10 June 1983 to 20 June 1984, General Smith was the Commanding General, Landing Force Training Command, Atlantic/Commanding General, 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade, NAB, Little Creek, Norfolk, Virginia. On 2 July 1984, he became the first Marine general assigned to a NATO staff when he assumed the duties of Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations at Headquarters, Allied Forces North, in Oslo, Norway. General Smith was advanced to major general on 24 July 1985. He was assigned the duties as Director, Plans and Policy Directorate, USCINCLANT, Norfolk, Virginia on 1 September 1985. On 10 September 1987, General Smith was assigned duty as the Commanding General, III MEF/Commanding General, 3d Marine Division, FMF, Pacific and Commander, Marine Corps Bases, Japan. He was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general on 24 May 1989, with a date of rank of 18 May 1989. He was assigned duty as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs on 1 November 1989. General Smith in this capacity until his retirement from the Marine Corps on 1 August 1991.

His decorations and awards include: the Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit with gold star in lieu of a second award; Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" and gold star in lieu of a second award; the Combat Action Ribbon; Navy Unit Citation; Meritorious Unit Citation; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award; National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with bronze star; Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze stars; the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with silver star; the Vietnamese Staff Service Honor Medal; Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross); Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civic Action); and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

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