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Rear Admiral Keith M. Smith USCG 1790 Logo

United States Coast Guard
Deputy Commander
Atlantic Area



Rear Admiral Smith assumed the duties of Deputy Commander, Atlantic Area in October 2020. As Deputy Commander, he is responsible for all U.S. Coast Guard missions within a geographic region spanning from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf and encompassing five Coast Guard Districts and 40 states.  

Prior to arriving at Atlantic Area, he served as Commander of the Fifth Coast Guard District where he oversaw the full range of Coast Guard maritime safety and security missions in the Mid-Atlantic region from central New Jersey through North Carolina.

Additional flag officer assignments include Commander of Coast Guard Force Readiness Command where he supported readiness for operational commanders through training, leadership development, readiness assessments, exercise support, and tactics, techniques, and procedures development and Director Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATF West) where he executed Department of Defense counterdrug activities, defended the Homeland, and stabilized the theater by disrupting transnational criminal organizations.

Rear Admiral Smith has extensive operational experience with a specialty in tactical law enforcement and Port/Homeland Security Operations. During his 40-year career, he served as a Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) Officer in Charge, Operations Officer of Group Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Commanding Officer of Tactical Law Enforcement Team (TACLET) North, Chief of the Tactical Intelligence Section at JIATF East, Deputy Group Commander in St. Petersburg, Florida and plank owner Commanding Officer of Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) Los Angeles/Long Beach. Rear Admiral Smith served as Deputy Operations Officer for the Deployable Operations Group (DOG) and Commanding Officer of the Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT), a specialized counter terrorism unit. He also served as the Coast Guard Atlantic Area Chief of Staff from April 2013 to April 2015 and the Chief of Response and Chief of Incident Management from July 2011 to April 2013.

His personal Awards include 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 California. He enlisted in the Coast Guard in September 1980 and served as an air crewman on both 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 Master’s degree in Homeland Security.