Patrick Martin Smith
Patrick Martin Smith

Patrick Martin Smith

The military life of Patrick Martin Smith

By Dan Ellis | AFRH-G Resident       

Pat was born to Benjamin and Mary Smith on February 11, 1947 in St. Louis, Missouri, being the second youngest son of five brothers. In pursuit of education, he processed through elementary grades at St. Mark Catholic School and St. Pius X School and completed his secondary grades at River Gardens High School in 1965.         

Pat began his military career with his enlistment in the U.S. Army in March 1966 and was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for basic training. He then enrolled in the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California where he learned the Korean language during thirty-seven weeks of course work. He was then assigned to the Army Security Agency in San Francisco, California for a year, and while wearing civvies, performed background security clearances. Remaining with intel service he was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington during which time he evaluated military and civilian personnel for their potential risks to the service.         

While on compassionate leave in 1968, Pat was assigned to Granite City Army Depot in Illinois performing supply and logistics for the Army National Guard. After which, he was then assigned to the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas where he was raised to E-6 rank and functioned in data gathering and preparation for computerization.         

Pat was transferred to Vietnam aboard the USNS Corpus Christi Bay which served as a floating repair depot for helicopters. There were over 12,000 helicopters in Vietnam, so instead of bringing helicopters to the repair facility America brought the repair facility to the helicopters.         

Pat left Vietnam in 1971 and was stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado performing as operations NCO for the general support group. He was then sent to Fort Sam Houston Texas for two years where he was reclassified to behavioral sciences. He was then assigned as an instructor of medical personnel at the Academy of Health Sciences (AHS) with the Department of Behavioral Health Science.         

In 1976, Pat received a letter announcing his transfer to Fort Riley, Kansas where he was assigned as Division Artillery Operations NCO for one year before a transfer to Battalion Operations NCO.         

Pat’s new three-year tour in 1978 promoted him to E-8 in Nuremberg, Germany where he served as Battalion Operations NCO. In 1981 he was sent to the Presidio in San Francisco, California having a duty assignment as advisor to the Army National Guard and Army Reserves of California and Nevada.         

In 1982 Pat was chosen the “Army NCO of the Year” and was honored in Washington D.C. at a dinner with President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan amid other high ranking military officers.         

Pat’s next tour was in 1983, at Bamberg, Germany as battery first sergeant before becoming battalion sergeant major. In 1986 he retired in Germany after having served for twenty years and two months.         

On becoming a civilian once more he moved his family consisting of wife Christina, son Brian, and daughter Krista to St. Peters, Missouri where he became the superintendent of facilities management of the Francis Howell School District.         

He then became employed by the firm of Service Master in Chicago, Illinois where he was in charge of new contracts that provided facilities management for hospitals. Pat went on his own to become the facilities manager of the Saint Xavier University. His next move was to Houston, Texas to become superintendent of facilities management of the Pasadena School District from 1990 to 1993.         

Seeking a turn on his own he studied at the College for Financial Planning and became an independent certified financial planner. He developed clients from the retirement population and the oil and gas industries, and provided them with banking and asset management services. His second marriage was in 1995 with Sandra Arnaud, who became his business associate.     

He utilized the umbrella benefits of the international firm of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., that provided a means of tapping its resources and joining with more than eight thousand other financial advisors.         

In 2010, he sold this business and went into permanent retirement. When concerned about health issues, his first enrollment into AFRH-G was in 2015, but still at the age of 68, he felt the move was premature. Pat returned to the Home in 2019 and has since then settled in. Pat participates on the scholarship committee as co-chair, with oversight of finances. Pat also volunteers with the RAC, serving as chair of the dining facility committee and chair of the wellness center committee.