Retired Aug. 1, 1986.
Major General Perry M. Smith is commandant, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
General Smith was born in 1934, at West Point, N.Y., and graduated from Highland Falls (N.Y.) High School in 1952. As the son of an Army officer, he traveled extensively through this country during his youth. The general lived in Panama, from 1935 to 1937; Hawaii, from 1940 to 1942; and Italy, from 1946 to 1947. He is a 1956 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, with a bachelor of science degree and in 1967 earned a doctorate in international relations from Columbia University in New York City. He graduated from the National War College in 1971.
After graduation from the academy, General Smith attended pilot training at Marana Air Base, Ariz., and Webb Air Force Base, Texas, receiving his wings in September 1957. After combat crew training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., he reported to his first operational assignment at Toul-Rosieres Air Base, France, in 1958. For the next six years, he flew F-100s in France; Germany; England Air Force Base, La.; and at Incirlik and Cigli Common Defense Installations, Turkey.
He was chosen to become a member of the faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., and attended Columbia University for graduate work in international relations from 1964 to 1966. He then served on the academy faculty on three separate occasions (1966-1967, 1969-1970, 1971-1973). In 1968 he attended F-4 replacement training at Homestead Air Force Base, Fla. From August 1968 to August 1969, he served at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, with the 555th (Triple Nickle) Tactical Fighter Squadron. While there he flew 180 missions and has 370 combat hours in F-4D's.
During the 1970-1971 academic year, General Smith was a visiting professor at the National War College. He was assigned to the Plans Directorate, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., from 1973 to 1975, where he served as a branch chief, division chief, and Joint Chiefs of Staff planner. From May 1975 to July 1976, he was military assistant to the deputy secretary of Defense. In the summer of 1976 General Smith returned to Europe and served for a year as deputy commander for maintenance, 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hahn Air Base, Germany. He moved to Bitburg Air Base, Germany, in June 1977, as vice commander of the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing and took command of the wing in May 1978.
From March 1979 until January 1981, General Smith served as deputy chief of staff for operations, 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force, Rheindahlen, Germany. As the first U.S. general to be assigned to the joint 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force and Northern Army Group headquarters, he was responsible for integrating the U.S. Air Force into the 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force during this period. In February 1981 the general became deputy director of plans in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations at Air Force headquarters. General Smith was assigned as director of plans in August 1981. He assumed his present duties in July 1983.
General Smith is a command pilot with more than 3,400 flying hours, primarily in fighter aircraft including F-84s, F-100s, F-4s and F-15s. He earned his Parachutist Badge at Fort Benning, Ga., in October 1962. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters. He was the recipient of the Helen Dwight Reid award from the American Political Science Association for the best doctoral dissertation of 1967 in the fields of international law, organization and politics. His dissertation in revised form was published by John Hopkins Press in 1970.
He was promoted to major general Sept. 1, 1981, with date of rank April 1, 1978.
He is a member of the Order of Daedalians and the Council on Foreign Relations. His hobbies are reading, tennis, racquetball, skiing and long distance running.