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Ray Louis Smith

Date of birth: March 13, 1946
Place of Birth: Oklahoma, Shindler
Home of record: Missoula Montana

Ray Smith enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1965 and graduated as the Platoon and Series Honorman at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot, San Diego in 1966. In 1967 he graduated from Officer Candidate School and received his commission. While serving in the Marine Corps, in 1978 he began studies at Oklahoma State University and graduated in 1980. He retired as a United States Marine Corps Major General.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Captain Ray Louis Smith (MCSN: 0-102290), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism during the period 30 March to 1 April 1972 while serving as advisor to a Vietnamese Command group numbering approximately 250 Vietnamese Marines located on a small hilltop outpost in the Republic of Vietnam. With the Command Group repulsing several savage enemy assaults, and subjected to a continuing hail of fire from an attacking force estimated to be of two-battalion strength, Captain Smith repeatedly exposed himself to the heavy fire while directing friendly air support. When adverse weather conditions precluded further close air support, he attempted to lead the group, now reduced to only 28 Vietnamese Marines, to the safety of friendly lines. An enemy soldier opened fire upon the Marines at the precise moment that they had balked when encountering an outer defensive ring of barbed wire. Captain Smith returned accurate fire, disposing of the attacker, and then threw himself backwards on top of the booby-trap-infested wire barrier. Swiftly, the remaining Marines moved over the crushed wire, stepping on Captain Smith's prostrate body, until all had passed safely through the barrier. Although suffering severe cuts and bruises, Captain Smith succeeded in leading the Marines to the safety of friendly lines. His great personal valor and unrelenting devotion to duty reflected the highest credit upon himself, the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

Action Date: April 1, 1972

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Captain

Company: Advisor (Attached)

Division: Vietnamese Marine Corps

Defense Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major General Ray Louis Smith (MCSN: 0-102290), United States Marine Corps Reserve, was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States.

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Major General

Navy Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Major General Ray Louis Smith (MCSN: 0-102290), United States Marine Corps Reserve, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States as Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from July 1997 to July 1999. Responsible for providing a wide range of Base operational support to a community of over 128,00 military and civilian personnel, Major General Smith planned and executed numerous innovative programs that greatly enhanced the already outstanding support capabilities of Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. As a direct result of his unparalleled professional leadership, Marine Corps Base Camp, Camp Lejeune provided a superlative support to the Fleet Marine Force units deployed to a variety of operations and exercises. Due to his inspirational leadership and superior managerial skills, the staff of Marine Corps Base set in action several innovative programs, as well as leveraged emerging technologies to bring superior support to the Marines, Sailors, and families of Camp Lejeune. Camp Lejeune was recognized for its outstanding support by winning the Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award, the Department of Defense Recycling Award, and several Secretary of Defense Special Recognition Awards. His personal attention to public relations fostered an all-time high in cooperation with the local community. By his distinctive contributions, unrelenting perseverance, and steadfast devotion to duty, Major General Smith reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: July 1997 - July 1999

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Major General

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Second Lieutenant Ray Louis Smith (MCSN: 0-102290), United States Marine Corps Reserve, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of Company A, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 4 February 1968, while participating in Operation HUE CITY, Second Lieutenant Smith's unit was assigned the mission of attacking and seizing a school complex occupied by an estimated battalion of North Vietnamese Army Regulars. As his company advanced toward its objective, the Marines came under intense automatic weapons, small arms and B-40 rocket fire, pinning down the lead platoon. Reacting instantly, he aggressively maneuvered his remaining platoons forward and directed a heavy volume of fire against the entrenched enemy, suppressing the hostile fire sufficiently to allow his lead platoon to maneuver out of the hazardous area. Concerned with maintaining the momentum of the attack, he repeatedly exposed himself to the enemy fire to better direct the efforts and movements of his forces. Knocked to the ground on numerous occasions by the concussion from nearby explosions, he quickly regained his footing and continued to lead his most heavily engaged units. When it appeared that the assault was faltering, he skillfully employed a recoilless rifle team in addition to a demolition unit against the well entrenched enemy, enabling his unit to move from one building to another in its relentless attack. His bold leadership and aggressive actions were an inspiration to all who served with him and contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his courage, steadfast determination and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal danger, Second Lieutenant Smith upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: February 4, 1968

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Company: Company A

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 1st Marines

Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.), FMF

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star to First Lieutenant Ray Louis Smith (MCSN: 0-102290), United States Marine Corps Reserve, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of Company A, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On the night of 7 July 1968, Company A was assigned to assist in repulsing two North Vietnamese Army companies that had penetrated the battalion defensive perimeter on Hill 689 near the Khe Sanh Combat Base. Observing the intense enemy mortar and anti-tank rocket fire and realizing the seriousness of the situation, First Lieutenant Smith unhesitatingly led his men across 100 meters of fire-swept terrain to the beleaguered unit's positions. Ignoring the hostile rounds impacting near him, he skillfully deployed his platoons on line behind the containing forces and commenced his attack against the enemy. Although painfully wounded, First Lieutenant Smith fearlessly moved about the hazardous area shouting words of encouragement to his men and skillfully directing their fire against the North Vietnamese soldiers. With complete disregard for his own safety, he calmly coordinated the evacuation of casualties while resolutely leading his Marines in driving the enemy from the perimeter and subsequently re-establishing the battalion's defensive integrity. His bold initiative and heroic actions inspired all who served with him and were instrumental in the accomplishment of the dangerous mission. By his courage, aggressive leadership and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, First Lieutenant Smith upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: July 7, 1968

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: Company A

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 1st Marines

Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.), FMF

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Invasion of Grenada

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Lieutenant Colonel Ray Louis Smith (MCSN: 0-102290), United States Marine Corps Reserve, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as Commanding Officer, Battalion Landing Team 2/8, during Operation URGENT FURY on the Islands of Grenada and Carriacou, from 25 October 1983 to 2 November 1983. As the Marine ground combat element commander responsible for the northern operations area, Lieutenant Colonel Smith effectively prepared for numerous offensive operations as well as noncombatant evacuation operations. His attention to detail in contingency planning was instrumental to his forces being able to conduct three separate night combined surface and air assaults that destroyed the will to resist of the People's Revolutionary Army. By his exceptional leadership, professionalism, and poise, he organized and controlled his widely separated forces in securing over two thirds of the Island of Grenada as well as the entire Island of Carriacou. His forceful presence and calm control won the support of the Grenadian People and ensured that the United States press recorded the scenes of Marines being welcomed. Lieutenant Colonel Smith's exemplary performance, unrelenting perseverance, and courageous devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: October 25 - November 2, 1983

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Legion of Merit to Lieutenant Colonel Ray Louis Smith (MCSN: 0-102290), United States Marine Corps Reserve, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as Commanding Officer, Battalion Landing Team 2/8, Landing Force SIXTH Fleet 1-84, during operations ashore in Beirut, Lebanon, from 14 November 1983 to 26 February 1984. Lieutenant Colonel Smith rapidly analyzed the current situation, established his priorities, and organized the relief in place. Simultaneously with establishing defensive positions at Beirut International Airport, he oversaw the security preparations at the American Embassy. His determined efforts to prevent the constantly expected but unforeseeable terrorist attack resulted in an impregnable perimeter which no terrorist found breachable. Tactically proficient and superbly knowledgeable, Lieutenant Colonel Smith's fire support plan brought such superior firepower to bear that the enemy quickly sought to disengage from all exchanges of fire. An extremely competent leader, his dominant presence alone inspired all his Marines to achieve new heights. The truly professional manner with which he orchestrated the backload from Beirut left no doubt that the United States was not being forced out. By his outstanding leadership, astute professionalism, and inspiring devotion to duty, Lieutenant Colonel Smith reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: November 14, 1983 - February 26, 1984

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Bronze Star

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" to First Lieutenant Ray Louis Smith (MCSN: 0-102290), United States Marine Corps Reserve, for meritorious service in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam while serving in various capacities with Company A, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, from 7 October 1967 to 25 October 1968. Throughout this period, Lieutenant Smith performed his duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner. Initially assigned as a Platoon Commander, he demonstrated exceptional initiative and a thorough knowledge of infantry tactics while fearlessly leading his men during numerous combat operations, including Operations LANCASTER, PEGASUS and SCOTLAND II. When his company commander was wounded while participating in Operation HUE CITY, Lieutenant Smith unhesitatingly assumed control of the company, ably supervising and directing his men until relieved by a senior officer. Reassigned as Executive Officer, he materially assisted his commanding officer in planning operations and supervising the timely, accurate preparation of administrative reports. Subsequently reassigned as Commanding Officer on 6 July, a billet normally held by an officer of higher rank, he continued to distinguish himself by his outstanding accomplishment of all assigned missions. Lieutenant Smith's superior professionalism, aggressive leadership and unwavering devotion to duty contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his command's mission and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. (First Lieutenant Smith is authorized to wear the Combat "V".)

Action Date: October 7, 1967 - October 25, 1968

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: First Lieutenant