October 28, 2021 Commodore Mel Smith – Luncheon at ULCC

The 786 Club is pleased to announce a luncheon at the Union League Club of Chicago on Thursday, October 28th. It will be held from 11:00 AM to 1:30PM.

We are honored to have Commodore Mel Smith traveling from Pearl Harbor especially to be with the 786 Club for this luncheon. He is the Commander of Submarine Squadron One, which oversees five Virginia Class and two Los Angeles Class nuclear, fast attack submarines (including the USS ILLINOIS). He reports directly to the Commander Submarine Forces, Pacific, RDML Jeffrey Jablon, USN. 

Commodore Smith will speak on the responsibilities of a Squadron Commander, i.e., ensuring all boats under his command are combat ready when deployed to the Western Pacific. This is a herculean task, but one which our nation’s defenses depend upon. Our U. S. Submarine Force is the “tip of the spear”, protecting us from our nation’s enemies. He will also speak about his time as the Commanding Officer of our nation’s submarine which conducts the most highly classified operations, the USS JIMMY CARTER (SSN-23). An example of a typical patrol for the USS JIMMY CARTER is described in this link: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/mystery-uss-jimmy-carter-and-mission-7-179811 Another reason our Submarine Force has the name “The Silent Service”.

We will be issuing another notice in a few days that includes the Eventbrite link you need to register on for this luncheon. Members of the Union League Club can register directly on www.ulcc.org without using the Eventbrite link. For those of you who coordinated your registration through our Chairman, Captain Len Wass, send him an email with your registration request: wcginc@aol.com

Captain Melvin Smith
Commander, Submarine Squadron 1

Originally from Long Island, N.Y., he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. After completing his initial nuclear power and submarine training, he reported aboard USS OKLAHOMA CITY (SSN 723) in December of 1998 where he served until August of 2001. During his time aboard, the ship completed an overseas deployment, a western Atlantic deployment and under ice operations. During his tour, the ship was awarded the Battle “E”.

Smith next served as a member of the Commandant’s staff at the United States Naval Academy from August 2001 until May of 2004. While there he was responsible for the mentoring of future leaders of our Navy and Marine Corps.

Following graduation from the Submarine Officer Advanced Course he reported to USS MAINE (SSBN 741) (GOLD) in November 2004 as Engineer Officer. There he completed four strategic deterrent patrols and a change of homeport from Kings Bay to Naval Base Kitsap. During his time aboard his crew was also awarded the Battle “E”.

After his tour as Engineer officer he executed transfer to Naval Reactors serving as the Principal Assistant to the Director from August of 2007 until September 2009.

In December 2009, after completing the Submarine Command Course, he reported as Executive officer, onboard USS ANNAPOLIS (SSN 760). During his tour on ANNAPOLIS, the ship completed an overseas CENTCOM/EUCOM deployment, Submarine Command Course Operations and was awarded the Battle “E”.

After his executive officer tour, he reported to Navy Personnel command as the Submarine Assignments Branch Head and Executive Officer Detailer in November 2011.

After a two-year tour as the Submarine Assignments Branch Head at PERS-42 and command training, he enjoyed the great honor of relieving as Commanding Officer of the USS JIMMY CARTER in May of 2015. In this role he led his team comprised of submariners and other technical cadres to accomplish operations that were critically important to expanding the technical landscape of submarine operations. During his tenure, the USS JIMMY CARTER team was twice recognized with the Battle “E” and numerous unit commendations.

After completing his tour as Commanding Officer in Oct 2017, he reported to Commander Submarine Development Squadron 5 as the Deputy.

Captain Smith, most recently completed a tour on the Joint Staff as the Division Chief for Nuclear Policy and Strategic Deterrence under the J5 Policy Directorate.

Captain Smith is authorized to wear the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, and various other personal and unit awards.