Smith Chosen to Lead Missouri Wing
Lt. Col. Jennifer L. Smith has been selected as the next Missouri Wing commander, succeeding Col. Thomas Martin, wing commander since May 2019, in a change of command ceremony at the wing conference later this month.
Smith, the wing’s vice commander since March 2022, previously served as chief of staff of missions from March 2019-March 2022. She has served in multiple positions at the squadron, group, and wing levels – including deputy commander and commander of the Wentzville Composite Squadron, director of cadet programs for Missouri Wing Group II, and wing encampment staff member for five years, including two years as encampment commander.
"Lt. Col. Smith is clearly the best person to be the next Missouri Wing commander,” said Col. John O’Neill, North Central Region commander. “Her positive attitude, judgment, and leadership skills are exactly what Missouri Wing needs to move into the future."
While O’Neill oversaw the selection process, final approval came from Maj. Gen. Edward Phelka, Civil Air Patrol national commander.
Smith first joined Civil Air Patrol in 1991 as a cadet with the Wentzville squadron. She completed the CAP cadet program by earning its highest award, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award, in 1996. As a cadet she participated in the International Air Cadet Exchange program, traveling to Switzerland.
She returned to CAP in 2012 when her son, Justin, joined the organization. Seven years later, he joined her as a Spaatz award recipient.
Smith’s Civil Air Patrol awards include the Exceptional Service Award, Meritorious Service Award with Clasp, three Commander’s Commendations, two CAP Achievement Awards, and the Crisis Service Award. She was named the wing’s Cadet Junior Officer of the Year for 1993, Squadron Commander of the Year for 2018, and the wing and North Central Region Character Development Instructor of the Year for 2019
She holds master ratings in Professional Development, Character Development, Cadet Programs, and Command.
"I am honored to serve the Missouri Wing in this position and looking forward to working with the impressive group of members that comprise this wing,” Smith said. “I look forward to taking the wing to the next level by motivating members, encouraging members to strive for excellence, and guide them to fulfill their greatest potential.
“I believe through these actions a team will be built which will successfully achieve the missions of CAP.”
Smith is the planning and exercise officer for St. Charles County Regional Emergency Management.
Lt. Col. David A. Miller
Director of Public Affairs
North Central Region