ABHC(SW/AW) Vandie L. Smith III
United States Navy (Ret)
Chief was born in Kirbyville, Texas and was raised in Magnolia Springs, Texas. He joined the Navy in January, 1996 after graduating from Kirbyville High School, and attended basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois.
Upon graduating from Recruit Training and Aviation Boatswain mate Handler “A” School, Chief Smith reported for duty onboard USS INCHON (MCS-12). While assigned to USS INCHON (MCS-12), Chief Smith, completed a Mediterranean and North Atlantic deployment and performed duties as an aircraft director on the Ship, in the Air Department, and was advanced to Third Class.
In September 2000, Chief Smith reported for duty with Field Support in Meridian, Mississippi. Chief Smith was advanced to Second Class, and served as Emergency Arresting Gear Equipment Operator.
In July 2004 Chief Smith reported to USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) in Mayport, Florida. Shortly after reporting, he deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Chief Smith was part of the Decommissioning crew in 2007 of the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67).
In August 2007, Chief Smith reported to USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) in Norfolk, Virginia. Shortly after reporting, he was advanced to Aviation Boatswains Mate First Class, and was assigned to Air Department, V-1 Division as Fly Two Petty Officers. Chief Smith was rewarded a Plankowner Certification as part of the Pre-Commissioning crew for the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) in January 2009.
In December 2010, Chief Smith reported for duty onboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), Chief Smith was promoted to Flight Deck Caller, and qualified as a Flight Deck Officer where he served as the Night Check Coordinator for his final Combat deployment.
In November 2012, Chief Smith transferred from Norfolk, Virginia to Naval Air Station Whiting Field, in Milton, Florida where he was promoted to Chief Petty Officer. He served as the Chief Airfield Specialist for Airfield Operations. Chief Smith retired from the Navy in June 2016.
In July 2017, Chief Smith moved back to his home state of Texas, where he now a NJROTC instructor at Memorial High School Cate in Port Arthur, TX.
Chief Smith’s personal awards include the Navy, Marine Corps Commendation Medal (1 Silver Star), and the Navy, Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4 gold stars).
Chief Smith and his wife Comelita have four children, Terion. Daeshika, Madison, and Lindsey and they reside in Jasper, TX.