He served in command and staff assignments in the United States, Europe and Asia, including two combat tours in infantry battalions in Vietnam and as Chief of Staff of the 3rd Armored Division in Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait. He served as the Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., and as the Deputy Director of Training on the Army Staff in the Pentagon. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1993 as the Chief of Staff of the Armor Center and School at Fort Knox, Ky.
After retiring from the Army he served as Director of Army Instruction for the JROTC programs in Lee County, Fla., then as an Operations Manager for General Dynamics in Saudi Arabia and finally as the General Dynamics Manager for field services for the Abrams tank.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit with 2OLC and the Bronze Star with 3OLC.
He was on the Board of the Fort Hood and Central Texas Chapter of the Association of the US Army, as the Vice President of the JROTC and Wounded Warriors programs. He was also the Chairman of the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee.
Jerry and his wife of 44 years, Marty, run the Smith Ranch on Cowhouse Creek in Pidcoke, Texas. They are the proud parents of two sons, David Austin Smith and Maj. Mark Andrew Smith, and the proud grandparents of one grandson, Conner Lewis Smith.
Col. Jerry Austin Smith passed away Sunday, April 5, 2009. The viewing will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 8 at the Crawford Bowers Funeral Home in Copperas Cove, Texas. Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, April 9, in the Commanche Chapel on Ft. Hood. The burial ceremony will immediately follow at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, Texas. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in Jerry's name to the JROTC Scholarship Fund which has been established at the National Banks of Central Texas, 408 Main Street, Copperas Cove, Texas 76522. The fund will benefit students from Copperas Cove High School.
Words of comfort may be shared with the family at www.mem.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Copperas Cove.