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Ray Smith  

Rear Admiral, US Navy (Ret) Navy SEAL Commander, Leadership & Performance Expert

Widely regarded as one of the Navy's most inspirational leaders, Rear Admiral Ray Smith has spoken extensively on his leadership experiences to a wide range of audiences including corporate, political, military, and civic leaders.

A Navy SEAL for 31 years, Admiral Ray Smith achieved extraordinary success through focused, participatory leadership. During his four-year tenure as Commander of the 2300-men SEAL force, Admiral Smith raised personnel retention to a level three times the Navy average. As a Navy Captain, Ray Smith led the Navy SEALs in Operation Desert Storm, conducting over 200 operations of strategic significance while incurring no casualties. Earlier in his career, Admiral Smith directed Navy SEAL training, generally considered to be the most challenging military training in the world. While in this position, Admiral Smith achieved the highest graduation rate in the 50-year history of the course

Admiral Ray Smith has been recognized in Newsweek, Fortune, Reader's Digest, and on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and CBS This Morning. He published two highly successful Navy SEAL manuals, one on nutrition and one on fitness. Ray Smith was awarded the California Distinguished Service Award while a member of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Admiral Ray Smith holds a Master of Science degree in Physical Oceanography from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

Admiral Ray Smith began his career in the Navy as a Seaman recruit in 1962. He retired from the Navy in 2000, having served nearly 39 years during which he attained the rank of Rear Admiral. He was awarded an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 1963. He graduated and was commissioned as an Ensign in 1967 and served two years on a Navy destroyer.

The Admiral volunteered for SEAL training in 1969. In 1970, (then Lieutenant) Smith deployed to Viet Nam where he led an Underwater Demolition Platoon in combat operations and was awarded a Bronze Star (V) and Navy Commendation Medal (V) for heroic achievement. For the next 31 years, Admiral Smith served in a variety of SEAL assignments including Director of Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL Training, where he achieved the highest graduation rate (51%) in the history of the school.

Admiral Smith was responsible for developing the Navy's first capability-based assessment process. He led 100 systems analysts in providing service-level recommendations directly to the Chief of Naval Operations. Incorporating computer modeling and risk assessment, Admiral Smith provided Navy leadership with $36 billion in analysis-based savings over a six-year period.

Admiral Smith successfully completed the 350-mile Beast of the East Adventure Race in 1998 and 1999, finishing with his three Navy SEAL teammates in 9th place out of 34 teams.

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