LtCol Joshua Smith initially accessed into the delayed entry program in June 1996. He enlisted to be an LAV crewman with C Company, 4th LAR Battalion. Prior to attending recruit training he was selected for the NROTC scholarship and opted to begin training to be an officer. He was commissioned from the University of Utah NROTC program in December 2003 with a degree in Geography and a minor in Spanish. After completing the Basic School in 2004, he reported to NAS Pensacola, FL for advanced pilot indoctrination. He completed primary flight training with VT-28 at NAS Corpus Christi, TX. He was selected to fly helicopters and assigned to NAS Milton, FL for advanced helicopter flight training. Upon completion of training we was winged a Naval Aviator in 2006 and assigned to HMM(T)-164 for training on the CH-46E.
In April 2007, he checked into MAG-16 and was assigned to HMM-165 as an operations schedule writer. He deployed with HMM-165(REIN) in May 2008 for a 15th MEU WESTPAC. He was promoted to Captain in June 2008 onboard the USS Peleliu. While on that deployment, he was designated an aircraft commander and flew missions in support of contingency operations. He was then sent to the School of Aviation Safety in January 2009 and served as the Aviation Safety Officer for HMM-165 during another 15th MEU Deployment in 2010. During that deployment, he was the Air Liaison Officer for a multi-national exercise in East Timor. He also supported Humanitarian Aide/ Disaster Relief Operations in Pakistan. During that time he was in charge of the relief in place hand off from HMM-165 to a U.S. Army Aviation Battalion for continued relief operations. HMM-165 was slated to transition to the V-22 following this deployment and LtCol Smith was selected to transition with the unit to the MV-22B. He attended VMM(T)-204 in 2011 and returned to serve as the Flight Line OIC and Admin Officer at VMM-165.
In April 2013, he was assigned to VMM-166(REIN) to support that unit for a deployment with the 13th MEU. He served as the S-1 Officer during the deployment. He was promoted to Major in June 2014 and assumed the role as the Director of Safety and Standardization and later as the Executive Officer. In 2015, he was assigned to HMX-1 as the Aviation Safety Officer. During his tenure at HMX-1, he served in Safety, Quality Assurance, and Operations. He was instrumental in introducing the Rapid Ground Refueling capability to HMX-1, which was first utilized on a Presidential Support Mission in Ft Myers, Florida following a devastating hurricane. Additionally, he piloted the first ever mission in which HMX-1 flew the Vice President on a V-22 along with the Governor of Texas and several Cabinet members to survey damage following Hurricane Harvey. He also coordinated support for a Presidential visit to San Juan, Puerto Rico following massive hurricane damage.
Following his tour at HMX-1, LtCol Smith accessed to the Active Reserve and was assigned to VMM-764 in August 2018 to serve as the Maintenance Officer. During his time at VMM-764, he supported MAG-41’s annual training exercise in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada with eight V-22 aircraft. In 2019, he was selected for command of VMM-774.
LtCol Smith is a graduate of the Expeditionary Warfare School Distance Program and the Air Force Command and Staff College Distance Program.
His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy/ Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two gold stars, and the Navy/ Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Presidential Service Badge.