Colonel Kelsey A. Smith
Colonel Kelsey Smith’s hometown is Bellingham, WA; He graduated and was commissioned as a Distinguished Military Graduate from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA in 1995. After completion of flight school in 1996, he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment at Ft. Hood serving as an AH-64A platoon leader and III/V platoon leader and deploying to Bosnia in support of SFOR 5. Returning to Ft. Hood he served as the 1-4 AVN S4 until departing for the Aviation Captains Career Course at Fort Rucker, AL. From AVCCC, he was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 6th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, Illesheim Germany. There he served as the Squadron Assistant S3 during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Following Operation Iraqi Freedom, COL Smith returned to Ft. Hood where he assumed command of B Troop, 2nd Squadron 6th Cavalry and transitioned it through the Unit Fielding and Training Program (UFTP). After UFTP, COL Smith returned to Illesheim, Germany and deployed B/2-6 CAV to Bagram, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006. After Afghanistan, COL Smith served as the Attack Aviation Observer Controller at the Joint Multi-national Training Center in Hohenfels, Germany and later attended the U.S. Marine Corps Command and General Staff College in Quantico, VA where he received a Masters of Military History. LTC Smith then returned to Ft. Hood and was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, Ft. Hood. While in the 1st Cavalry Division, he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11 as the Brigade Aviation Officer for 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team in Mosul and as the Battalion Executive Officer for 1st Squadron, 12th Cavalry Regiment (Combined Arms Battalion) in Quayarra, Iraq. Returning from OIF 09-11 COL Smith served as the Battalion Operations Officer for 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment (ARB), 1st Air Cavalry Brigade before deploying to Afghanistan as the Executive Officer to the Commanding General, 1st Cavalry Division and Combined Joint Task Force-East in 2011 and then as the Deputy Brigade Commander of the 166th Aviation Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas. Following 166th Aviation Brigade, COL Smith returned to Germany assuming command of the 2-159th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion “Gunslingers from 2013 to 2015. After relinquishing command, COL Smith was assigned as the Senior Aviation Observer/Trainer at The U.S. Army National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. Following his assignment as Eagle 07, COL Smith attended the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania 2016-2017. COL Smith’s most recent assignment is as the Executive Officer to the Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) Commanding General in Huntsville, Alabama.
COL Smith’s military education includes the Aviation Officer’s Basic Course, Initial Entry Rotary Wing, Aviation Captain’s Career Course, U.S. Marine Corps Command and General Staff College, the Joint Firepower Controller Course and the U.S. Army War College. His aircraft qualifications include the TH-67, UH-1, OH-58A/C, AH-64A, and AH-64D Longbow.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with V device, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, Expeditionary Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medals, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Combat Action and the Master Army Aviator badges.