Keith Smith

Keith Smith

Rear Admiral (Upper Half), U.S. Coast Guard, Retired

Rear Admiral Keith M. Smith is a distinguished United States Coast Guard veteran of 41 years, having retired in August of 2022. A unique leader among his peers, rising from the ranks of the enlisted corp to his last position as Deputy Commander of Atlantic Area. His expertise lies in Homeland Security, Counter Terrorism, Drug Interdiction, and Emergency Management with leadership and mentorship as his core specialty. He is the founder and President of The SilverBack Group, LLC.

During his 41-year career, Rear Admiral Smith served as Commander of the Fifth Coast Guard District, the Coast Guard Force Readiness Command, the Maritime Safety and Security Team/ Los Angeles, the Maritime Security Response Team, the Tactical Law Enforcement Team North and the Director of Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATF WEST).

Rear Admiral Smith also served as the Deputy Group Commander St. Petersburg, was Chief of the Tactical Intelligence Section of JIATF East, Deputy Operations officer of the Deployable Operations Group, along with serving the Coast Guard Atlantic Area as Chief of Staff.

His personal awards include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, three Legion of Merits, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, six Meritorious Service Medals, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals and two Coast Guard Achievement Medals. Rear Admiral Smith is a native of Cypress, CA, enlisted in the Coast Guard in September of 1980, and served as an air crewman on both the HH-3F helicopters and C-130 aircraft before receiving his commission in 1987.

A graduate of California State University Long Beach, Rear Admiral Smith holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Homeland Security.