Major General Mark E. Smith
Mark E. Smith is Civil Air Patrol’s 24th National Commander. He leads CAP’s more than 65,000 members across the United States in fulfilling the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary’s congressionally chartered missions of Emergency Services, Cadet Programs and Aerospace Education, in addition to the organization’s steadily increasing role in America’s Homeland Security as the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force.
As National Commander, he serves as a Major General (two-star), the highest-ranking CAP officer. He also serves as Civil Air Patrol’s Chief Executive Officer and as an Advisor to the CAP Board of Governors, the organization’s governing body. In addition, he leads the CAP Command Council, whose members serve as his advisors, and the CAP Senior Advisory Group (CSAG).
General Smith was appointed by the Civil Air Patrol Board of Governors on June 18, 2017. His three-year term as National Commander/CEO commenced with his assumption of command on Sept. 2, 2017, at CAP’s 2017 National Conference. In August 2019, General Smith accepted the Board of Governors' offer to extend his three-year term as National Commander/CEO by an additional year.
A member of Civil Air Patrol since 2005, General Smith is a CAP pilot and has served almost exclusively as a CAP Commander at the Squadron, Wing and Region levels. As Region Commander, he headed up CAP’s Leadership Development Working Group, which is a national-level team that has developed products, tools and courses to better equip CAP’s leaders at all levels for success. The group released a highly acclaimed Unit Commander’s Course.
General Smith retired as a Colonel from the Air Force in 2000 after 26 years of service. An Operation Desert Storm veteran, he commanded the 27th Fighter Squadron and served as Director of the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Joint Advanced Distributed Simulation Joint Test and Evaluation (JADS JT&E) program. His Air Force and CAP careers are complemented by an equally successful 16-year career in the private sector that includes service as an International Test and Evaluation Association (ITEA) Board Member and as the first Chair of the Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization’s Executive Committee. He has held positions as a Management Consultant for Mark Smith Associates, Senior Vice President and Operations Manager for Science Applications International Corp., and Vice President for Test and Evaluation for Scientific Research Corp.
General Smith holds a Bachelor’s of Science in International Affairs from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a Master’s of Aviation in Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University.
A resident of Albuquerque, General Smith has two adult children, Hillary and Gregory, and two granddaughters, Hazel and Anna.
Current as of 3 May 2019