COLONEL Wm. Thomas Smith, Jr.
— NINE-TIMES AWARDED FOR COUNTERTERRORISM ACTIVITIES, and honored on four separate occasions by four different recipients of the Medal of Honor — has authored six nationally acclaimed books (two co-authored), edited several (incl. a New York Times Bestseller), contributed to many, and written countless pieces for various magazines & newspapers (see list).
EDU & MILITARY SERVICE
W. Thomas Smith, Jr. holds a BA degree in History from the University of South Carolina, and he has completed coursework through the Marine Corps Institute and the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security. Smith is a U.S. Marine rifleman (MOS 0311) and parachutist (MOS 9962), 1983-'87, who today holds a field-grade officer's commission in the S.C. Military Department.
Smith served in the U.S. Marine Corps (1st Battalion, 5th Marines) as a rifle-squad leader — graduating from infantry, airborne, mountain warfare, amphibious raid, and sea schools — and he served as special-weapons security and counterterrorism instructor (personally training Marines and sailors ashore and aboard ship). Smith also has been trained by the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service. Among his awards and decorations, he is a recipient of "The Secretary of the Navy's Commendation Medal for Achievement" (today the "Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal") for his leadership in both nuclear security operations and counterterrorism training. And he holds the title "Honorary Ranger" in the South Korean Marine Corps.
Following his service in the USMC, Smith served on a paramilitary SWAT team in the nuclear industry. He was the HONORMAN graduate — first in his class — of both his nuclear-security force class and his armed response force class.
THE S.C. MILITARY DEPARTMENT
COL Smith currently serves as both public information officer and director of the Counterterrorism Information Office, Joint Services Detachment (JSD), S.C. Military Dept. [Though directly under the JSD chain of command, the JSD Counterterrorism Information Office receives support and information from the U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team.]
In a private ceremony (Oct. 2008), Smith was administered the oath of office for major (0-4) in the S.C. Military Dept. by MEDAL OF HONOR recipient Michael E. Thornton, U.S. Navy SEALs (Ret.). Within five months, Feb. 2009, Smith was promoted to lieutenant colonel (O-5). He was promoted to colonel (O-6), Feb. 18, 2012.
Smith has received the MAJ. GEN. JAMES E. LIVINGSTON AWARD for "service to country in peace and war, superior leadership and tireless support of the 2010 National Medal of Honor Convention." The award was presented by MEDAL OF HONOR recipient Col. Charles Murray, U.S. Army (Ret.) on behalf of MEDAL OF HONOR recipient Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.).
Smith also has received the COMBATANT'S CROSS, the highest award by the U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team. The award was presented by MEDAL OF HONOR recipient MSGT John Baker, U.S. Army (Ret.) on behalf of Clare Lopez, CIA operations officer (Ret.).
In June 2010, Smith received Royal Laotian Airborne wings.
[MAKING HISTORY - Smith is the first officer in JSD to wear both U.S. and foreign jump wings.]
In Feb. 2011, Smith received the S.C. Meritorious Service Medal for work during the Medal of Honor convention. He also received the State Merit Ribbon for "the highest form of leadership" in establishing and directing "the Counterterrorism Task Force" (today known as the JSD Counterterrorism Information Office).
The State Merit Ribbon is the "highest ribbon" awarded by S.C., and it is his second of three military decorations for counterterrorism activities (He has nine awards or decorations total for counterterrorism).
In Sept. 2012, Smith received the JSD Meritorious Service Medal for - among other things - establishing the JSD "Counterterrorism Information Office." That same month, he was named HONORARY GREEN BERET by the U.S. Army Special Forces Association (S.C. Chapter). In Oct., S.C. Senator Mike Fair issued a Senate commendation to Smith for his having been named HONORARY GREEN BERET.
COVERING WAR & NATIONAL DEFENSE
As a journalist, Smith has reported from battlefields in the Balkans and the Middle East - from the West Bank to Iraq (two tours) to Lebanon - and he covered the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks from "ground zero" in New York. He has written extensively about the global war on terror with a focus on international terrorism and counterterrorism, seaborne piracy, amphibious warfare, special operations, and ground combat.
Smith is director of the U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team of the Family Security Foundation, Inc., a senior military analyst and editor-at-large at World Defense Review (He is the founding executive editor of WDR), and a senior military analyst for NavySEALs.com.
EXPERT ANALYSIS & ADDITIONAL AWARDS
Smith, who has served as a national security advisor for U.S. presidential candidates, has provided analysis to both the U.S. Special Operations Command and the U.S. Central Command. He has edited briefs for U.S. Congressional hearings as well as scripts for television and radio. He has briefed units of the U.S. armed forces, testified in S.C. Senate subcommittee hearings, and he has lectured multi-national corporations on the threat of international terrorism, as well as cadets and midshipman (from the U.S. service academies) on leadership.
UPDATE (March 28, 2011) - Smith is a recipient of the Palmetto Patriot Award – the highest award bestowed by the Lt. Governor of S.C. – for "expertise and leadership in the field of national security and homeland defense." [ Click for story ]
Smith holds the title "Honorary Soldier in the Lebanese Cedars Revolution" for his global terrorism analysis "proven to be at great personal risk," according to the World Council of the Cedars Revolution, which represents the pro-democracy majority in Lebanon and throughout the world.
A columnist for Townhall.com, Middle East Times, Canada Free Press, Israel National News, and a regular contributor to Human Events; Smith is a technical consultant for POPULAR MECHANICS: New Technology of War, a five-part television documentary currently airing on The Military Channel. And he is the technical editor for military books published by Barnes & Noble Publishing, Simon & Schuster, Alpha Books, and others.
A former business magazine editor, contract media-relations director, today an independent writer, editor, writing consultant, and military analyst; Smith has been a guest commentator on the FOX NEWS Channel and E! True Hollywood Story Investigates. He has written speeches and articles for general-officers and Medal of Honor recipients.
Smith also has been interviewed by or quoted in numerous publications (Writer's Digest, The Writer, Woman's Day, SLATE, The New York Post, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Publisher's Weekly, Jewish World Review, The Florida Times-Union, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, and many others); NBC, CBS, and ABC television affiliates; nationally syndicated radio shows, including Bill Bennett's Morning in America, various National Public Radio (NPR) programming and international radio, including the BBC. His books have been featured in various print and broadcast media from The Washington Post to The History Channel to NPR's All Things Considered.
Smith's work is frequently included in radio host Rush Limbaugh's daily "stack of stuff."
TEACHING & LECTURING
Smith has served as an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina's School of Journalism and Mass Communications where he has taught magazine feature writing, breaking into national print, public opinion and propaganda, and reporting. He also coaches writers individually, and has lectured Fortune 500 companies, writers conferences, and the U.S. military.
Smith is a member of several professional organizations including:
- Intelligence Summit
(advisory council member)
- Stand Up America Project
(board of directors)
- Family Security Matters
(advisory board member)
- Greater Columbia (S.C.) Chamber of Commerce
(military affairs committee)
- S.C. Military Base Task Force
- Medal of Honor Society 2010 Convention
(information committee chairman and
director of media)
- Colonial Cup International Steeplechase Race (military committee)
- American Society of Journalists & Authors
- U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team
- JSD Counterterrorism Information Office
- Royal Laotian Airborne Corps
- National Press Club
- American Legion
(Post 6 historian)
- State Public Health Preparedness Advisory Committee
(Homeland Security subcommittee member)
- S.C. State Guard Foundation
(board of directors)
- State Guard Association of the United States
- S.C. National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Academy
(boardmember and public information committee chair)
- International Analysts Network
- World Security Network
Smith is a former boardmember of both the Southern Literature Council of Charleston (S.C.) and the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
Smith is a Salvation Army volunteer and a life-ordained Presbyterian deacon.
BOOKS (see Books page)
Smith's books include Encyclopedia of the Central Intelligence Agency (NY: Facts On File, 2003) and the Alpha Bravo Delta Guides to Decisive 20th-Century American Battles (NY: Alpha Books, Penguin USA, 2003); American Airborne Forces (Alpha, 2004); and
The Korean Conflict (Alpha, 2004). He co-authored
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pirates (Alpha, 2006)
with pirate expert Gail Selinger, and The Complete
Idiot's Guide to Understanding Intelligent Design
(Alpha, 2006) with ID-expert Christopher Carlisle.
Smith is a contributing writer for A Nation Changed, a book commemorating the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks (published in 2002 by U.S. News & World Report). He is the technical editor and foreword writer for the second edition of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Iraq (Alpha, 2005) and he is the technical editor and "special afterword" writer for Contract Warriors (Alpha, 2005). Smith is an editor, contributor, and chief advisor to Faces of Freedom (Wentworth, 2007) by Rebecca Pepin; and a contributor to Sixty Candles: Reflections on the Writing Life (iuniverse, 2008) by members of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Excerpts of interviews with Smith are featured in the ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing (St. Martin's Press, 2003) by Timothy Harper and Grindhopping: Building a Rewarding Career without Paying Your Dues (McGraw Hill, 2006) by Laura Vanderkam.
Smith's work is quoted in several other books.
Smith is an editorial director, technical editor, and military technical advisor for several military titles which have been published by companies including Barnes & Noble Publishing and Simon & Schuster.
Smith is the military technical advisor/editor for THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, QUIET HERO : Secrets from My Father's Past (Simon & Schuster, 2010) by three-time Emmy winner and twice bestselling author Rita Cosby, who refers to Smith as her "distinguished military expert."
QUIET HERO also is a USA TODAY bestseller and a WASHINGTON POST bestseller.
Check back for updates.