Captain Janice G. Smith is a Native of St. Catherine, Jamaica and enlisted in the United States Navy in 1989. She migrated to Miami, Florida after completing Bog Walk High School. She attended Miami-Dade Community College and enlisted in the United States Navy to see the world and the opportunity if offered to complete college.
She served aboard the USS YOSEMITE (AD 19) from 1989-1993 as a Cook working long hours to prepare meals for over 300 sailors. Capt. Smith also served at NAS Keywest from 1993-1997. She graduated from Troy State University with a Masters in Business Management and was commissioned through the Officer Candidate School (OCS) Program in 1997.
From 1998-2002 she completed Division Officer tours in USS OLENDORF (DD 972) as Damage Control Officer and USS NORMANDY (CG 60) as Fire Control Officer. From 2002-2005 she served as the Cruise Missile Tactics Officer at Surface Warfare Development Group (SWDG).
She completed two Department Head tours in USS NORMANDY (CG 60) from March 2005 to October 2007 where she served as Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer.
In November 2008 she completed a one year assignment at the Naval War College where she completed requirements for JPME-PHASE I and earned a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies. From December 2008 to December 2011 she served as Chief, Office of Defense Cooperation at the US Embassy in Nassau Bahamas, as a member of the U.S. Southern & Northern Command J5 Strategy and Policy Directorates. From February 2012 to July 2013 she served as the AEGIS/ BMD Officer at Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic.
Captain Smith shattered glass ceilings in her career, and she became only the second black woman and first Jamaican-American woman to serve on a U.S. Naval Destroyer when she served as Executive Officer on USS OSCAR AUSTIN (DDG 79) from June 2014 to May 2016 and fleeted up to Commanding Officer from May 2016 – October 2017.
In November 2017, she reported to Commander, Task Force Seven Zero forward deployed staff permanently embarked on USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76) Yokosuka, Japan where she served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Future Plans, Operations and Exercise from November 2017 – May 2019 and the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Current Operations from May 2019 to December 2019.
Captain Smith completed two Seventh Fleet Deployments, six Fifth Fleet deployments and two Mediterranean deployments in support of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Fox, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Task Force East Africa Anti-terrorism tasking. While assigned to USS NORMANDY in 2005, she deployed to Europe and Africa in support of Standing Maritime Group One NATO operations.
Her Awards includes the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Navy Commendation Medal (5), Navy Achievement Medal (2) and various campaign, service, and unit awards.
Captain Smith is currently serving as the Commander of Military Sealift Command, Atlantic (MSCLANT) being the first woman of African descent and first Jamaican to command MSCLANT and is only one of two active duty black women in the United States Navy Surface Warfare Community that is screened for major command.