Episode 1

Published on:

24th May 2021

S2 Ep1 Evolution of Special Operations Forces

Please enjoy Preston's conversation with Command Chief Master Sergeant Greg Smith on the evolution of Special Operations Forces.

Command Chief Master Sergeant Gregory A. Smith is the tenth command senior enlisted leader, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, Florida. He assumed the position on July 11, 2019.

Chief Smith entered the U.S. Air Force in 1990 as an aircraft armament systems specialist. His initial assignment was with the 3246th Test Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. In 1993, Chief Smith was reassigned to the 355th Fighter Squadron, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska where he served as a weapons load crew member on A/OA-10 aircraft. He completed multiple deployments to the pacific theater.

Chief Smith was selected for special duty as an AC-130H/U aerial gunner in 1996. He served as lead, instructor and evaluator gunner with the 4th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida. He also served as the superintendent of Wing Strategic Plans with the 16th Special Operations Wing. In September 2001, Chief Smith was part of the first team to deploy following the terror attacks on 9/11. He established the first forward operating base and then deployed to Pakistan where he established a joint interagency forward operating location. In 2009, Chief Smith became the first course director and chief of academics for the Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy.

In June 2012, Chief Smith was selected for command chief master sergeant for the 58th Special Operations Wing where he oversaw the training and readiness for special operations and combat rescue personnel. In 2013, Chief Smith was selected as the command senior enlisted leader for Special Operations Command Europe where he led special operations forces through multiple contingencies in Ukraine, Turkey, and Syria. Chief Smith became the command senior enlisted leader for NATO Special Operations Headquarters in 2015. In this role, he synchronized Allied special operations forces for employment in support of NATO missions across the globe. Chief Smith’s last assignment was the command chief master sergeant, Air Force Special Operations Command.

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About the Podcast

Mission Critical Team Institute Teamcast
Preston Cline, Coleman Ruiz, and the Mission Critical Team Institute share research and explore the questions vexing the most elite teams in the world, from Special Operations soldiers to Firefighters, from Trauma Medics to Professional Athletes, and from Astronauts to Tactical Law Enforcement.

About your hosts

Coleman Ruiz

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Co-Founder and Director of Performance, Mission Critical Team Institute

Preston Cline

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Co-founder and Director of Research and Education at the Mission Critical Team Institute
Senior Fellow, Center for Leadership and Change Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania