Smith Named ‘Defender of Liberty’

Smith Named ‘Defender of Liberty’

Ret. LTG Les Smith receives an award from two soldiers
Photo by: U.S. Army

The Association of the U.S. Army’s vice president for Leadership and Education received the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Command’s 2022 Defender of Liberty Award Jan. 31 in a ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. 

Retired Lt. Gen. Leslie Smith, who joined AUSA in 2022, served 35 years in uniform, including a final assignment as Army inspector general. From 2008 to 2010, Smith was the 25th chief of Chemical and commandant of the Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School.  He commanded the 20th Support Command in 2010, and in 2013 became the first chemical officer to serve as commanding general of the Army’s Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. 

According to an Army statement, the Defender of Liberty Award is presented to leaders who have made a significant impact on the U.S. military’s only multifunctional and deployable CBRNE command. 

“Smith is a pioneer in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps. A veteran of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Smith commanded the 83rd Chemical Battalion, 3rd Chemical Brigade and U.S. Army CBRN School,” according to the Army statement. “Smith was one of the longest serving commanding generals in the 18-year history of the 20th CBRNE Command. He also previously served as the command operations officer.” 

“As commanding general, Smith led the 20th CBRNE Command to full operational capability as a Joint Task Force-WMD Elimination Headquarters in 2007. The deployable and multifunctional headquarters was mandated by the 2006 Defense Quadrennial Review,” the statement says.