Retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey G. Smith Jr. ’79 is dean of the faculty and deputy superintendent for academics. Born into a military family, Smith accepted a commission in the Army upon graduation from VMI and embarked upon a military career of more than 33 years that concluded with his retirement in 2013 as Deputy Commanding General of Army Cyber Command.
Smith began his Army career with company grade officer positions in the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Wash., and in Europe in the Pershing II Nuclear Missile Command. He later taught English at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., where he helped found a literary journal, The Circle in the Spiral. Smith served the U.S. Army, U.S. Central Command, and NATO in command and principal staff roles in Europe, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Smith commanded the 22nd Signal Brigade. As commander of that brigade, dual hatted as V Corps G-6, Smith installed, operated, and defended the information environment for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. During Operation Enduring Freedom, Smith served as the Army’s senior signal officer to Afghanistan, responsible for expanding the combat network in support of the presidential surge. Upon his return, Smith established Europe’s first regional cyber center.
In addition to his bachelor’s degree in English and biology from VMI, Smith holds a doctorate in English literature from Princeton University and a master’s degree in National Security from the National War College. Currently, Smith serves on the Advisory Board to the Army Cyber Institute (at West Point).
Smith’s decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (2), the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (3), and the Bronze Star (2).