Lieutenant Colonel Smith Biography


Lt Col Melissa R. Smith is the Commander, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment 390. Detachment 390 is located at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Detachment 390 provides training to over 90 officer candidates and routinely commissions more than 12 new United States Air and Space Force Second Lieutenants each year.

Lt Col Smith is a 2003 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. After graduation, she attended Undergraduate Navigator Training and completed the F-15E Basic Course. From there she was assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, UK and the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC, where she was an instructor WSO and Mission Commander. She is a top third graduate of the National Intelligence University where she received a Masters of Strategic Intelligence in 2016. Following school, Lt Col Smith worked in the Operations Directorate at United States Central Command as part of the Joint Fires Element. Lt Col Smith was selected to act as the Deputy Executive Officer for the Deputy Commander of CENTCOM. Lt Col Smith has more than 1,600 flying hours, including 488 combat hours in fighter aircraft. She led 123 F-15E combat sorties over Afghanistan in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.


2003   Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering, USAF Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado
2009   Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
2010    Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
2012    Air Command and Staff College, correspondence
2016    Master of Strategic Intelligence, National Intelligence University, Washington DC


  1. August 2003 – February 2006, Student, Undergraduate Navigator Training, Pensacola, FL
  2. March 2006 – March 2007, F-15 Basic Course Student, 334th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC
  3. April 2007 – April 2009, F-15E WSO, Plans Officer, 494th Fighter Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, UK
  4. May 2009 – November 2009, F-15E WSO, Wing Electronic Warfare Officer and Assistant Plans Officer, 48th  Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, UK
  5. December 2009 – December 2011, F-15E Instructor WSO, Mission Commander, Chief of Scheduling, Flight Commander and Director of Staff, 335th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC
  6. January 2012 – September 2013, F-15 Evaluator WSO, Mission Commander, Executive Officer, 4th Operations Group, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC
  7. October 2013 – May 2014, F-15E Evaluator WSO, Mission Commander, Assistant Director of Operations, 335th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC
  8. June 2014 – September 2014, F-15E Instructor Course Student, 334th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC
  9. October 2014 – June 2015, Instructor WSO, Chief of Instructional Division, 4th Training Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC
  10. July 2015 – November 2016, IDE Graduate Student, National Intelligence University, Joint Base Anacostia Bolling, Washington DC 
  11. December 2016 – June 2020, United States Central Command, Operations Directorate and Deputy Commanders Office, MacDill AFB, FL
  12. June 2020 – Present, Commander/Professor of Aerospace Studies, AFROTC Detachment 390 – University of Michigan, MI

Major Awards & Decorations

Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Meritorious Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters
AF Outstanding Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal

Effective Dates of Promotion

28 May 2003   Second Lieutenant
28 May 2005   First Lieutenant          
28 May 2007   Captain                      
01 Sep 2013     Major                          
01 Apr 2018      Lieutenant Colonel  


(Current as of January 2022)