Chief Warrant Officer-3
Michael J. Smith
Chief Warrant Officer 3, Michael J. Smith, originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1987. Upon completing Recruit Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, he was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class and transferred to the Armed Forces School of Music at the Naval Amphibious Base in Little Creek, Virginia for the six-month basic musician’s course as drummer with the Drum and Bugle Corps.
After completing the Basic Musician’s Course at the Armed Forces School of Music and receiving his next promotion, Lance Corporal Smith reported to the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps in Albany, Georgia. At the conclusion of 1989, by a decision of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Albany Drum and Bugle Corps was replaced with a band. Lance Corporal Smith was promoted to Corporal when the Albany Marine Band stood-up in January of 1990. Later that same year during Operation Desert Shield when ground combat was determined eminent, Corporal Smith was sent to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. There he trained with Combat Replacement Regiment Six and deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield with perimeter security platoons for Naval Fleet Hospital 15 in Al Jubail, and 1st Medical Battalion in Al Khanjar. At the conclusion of Desert Storm, Corporal Smith returned and resumed his duties as a percussionist with the Albany Marine Band.
After Corporal Smith was promoted to Sergeant, he was transferred to Okinawa Japan in 1994 for duty with the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band, where he served as the Percussion Section Leader and Platoon Sergeant. Highlights of that tour included several the 50th Anniversaries of several WW II battles in the Pacific to include the Battle of Iwo Jima, where Sergeant Smith reenlisted once again, but this time at the top of Mount Surabachi at the location where the famous flag raising took place. After Japan, and completion of the six-month intermediate course at the Armed Forces School of Music, Sergeant Smith transferred to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Band in Parris Island, South Carolina. There Sergeant Smith was promoted to Staff Sergeant and served as the Percussion Section Commander and Public Affairs Chief. Staff Sergeant Smith once again returned to the Armed Forces School of Music for six-months to attend the Advanced Course, then transferred to the Marine Corps Band in Quantico, Virginia, as the Operations Chief and Enlisted Band Leader. In 2000, Staff Sergeant Smith was selected for Warrant Officer and reported to the 2nd Marine Division Band in June 2001 for his first assignment as a Marine Corps Band Officer.
In 2004, the 2nd Marine Division Band was augmented with an additional 100 Marines and in 2005 they deployed to Iraq as the primary Guard Force for the 2nd Marine Division Headquarters Forward at Camp Blue Diamond, Al Ramadi, Iraq with 142 Marines. Returning to Camp Lejeune with 142 after the mission was complete; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Smith was transferred to Marine Corps Forces Reserve Headquarters in 2006 for to the New Orleans Marine Band in Louisiana.
The Band and Command was very much involved with the recovery of post-Katrina, New Orleans, and the Gulf Coast. On the 4th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Band culminated all of the physical and musical recovery efforts by presenting the ultimate gift of music to the people of New Orleans, a commission composed by Robert W. Smith entitled “Promising Skies”, inspired by their “Spirit of Rebirth” and dedicated to the people of New Orleans. The piece was debuted to a standing-room-only audience inside the iconic Saint Louis Cathedral in the heart of the French Quarter, receiving a seven-minute standing ovation. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Smith was then selected for the Officer College Degree (Completion) Program. Remaining in New Orleans, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Smith attended and graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre.
In June of 2011, Chief Warrant Officer Smith reported to his current duty assignment as Officer in Charge and Principle Conductor of the Marine Forces Pacific Band.