Texas Tech University

Distinguished Engineer Citations

Distinguished Engineer Photo: Richard D. Smith
Richard D. Smith

Richard D. Smith

Distinguished Engineer



Military Science, B.S., USAF Academy – 1961


Industrial Engineering, M.S. – 1966



At Time of Nomination in 2002

Major General Richard D. Smith has had an illustrious career in the Air Force and is currently a Senior Vice President and Director of the Applied Engineering Group of CACI, Inc. bringing over 40 years of logistics, acquisition and engineering experience to the corporation. General Smith was born in Lawton, Oklahoma and graduated from high school in Walters, Oklahoma. He earned his bachelor’s degree in military science from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Texas Tech. He went on to complete a doctorate in business administration from the University of Oklahoma and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Upon graduation from the academy, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and assigned to the Air Force7rsquo;s Ballistics Systems Division. He went on to serve in a number of positions with the Defense Contracting Administration Services District and the Logistics staff at Air Force headquarters. In July of 1976, he became commander of Detachment 19, Air Force Contract Maintenance Center, Getafe, Spain. There he managed contract depot maintenance for the Air Force’s European fleet of F–4 fighters. From 1979 to 1980 he was assigned to Kim Hae, South Korea, closing the F–4 depot maintenance activity in Taiwan and building a new capability from the ground up at Kim Hae. After this, he was transferred to the San Antonio Air Logistics Center, Air Force Logistics Command, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, serving in several capacities and ending up as the Director of Material Management. He continued moving up in the Air Force and served at Wright–Patterson Air Force for several years in key staff positions before returning to the San Antonio Air Logistics Center as commander in June 1989, where he was responsible for more than 17,000 people, 33 types of aircraft, aircraft engines and 100 other property classes. In July 1992 he assumed the position of director of logistics, Headquarters Air Force Material Command, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He was promoted to major general October 1, 1987 and retired in that Grade on August 1, 1993. His military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal. He was also named EEO Commander of the Year in 1992.

General Smith has been a member of the USAFA Association of Graduates since 1961 and the Air Force Logistics officers Association. He is also a Member of the Board of Directors (1st VP) of the South Central Texas USO. He was President of the San Antonio Educational Foundation 1996–1998, is a Member of the Board of Directors for Christian Heritage Schools, 2002–Present, Member of The Board of Advisors, San Antonio Business Magnet School, 1993-1996 and was a Board Member 1993–1998 and Board Chairman 1997–1998 of the Healy–Murphy Center, a private Catholic School for "at–risk" children. One of his proudest achievements is that while he was Commander at the San Antonio Air Logistics Center (Kelly AFB) he started the first military base program in the nation for mentoring at–risk students in connection with the Southeast Independent School District. This program eventually grew to have over 3000 mentors and was given the 242nd "Point Of Light" by President George Bush.

He and his wife, the former Carolyn Trainer of Fort Worth, have three daughters, Melanie Easom, Kaleen Graesle, and Kerry Stemen. They are also the proud grandparents of eight grandchildren.

Texas Tech University is honored and proud to name Major General Richard D. Smith as DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER.

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