Rear Admiral Keith M. Smith

Fifth District Commander (D5)

U.S. Coast Guard


Rear Admiral Smith assumed command of the Fifth Coast Guard District in August 2018. In this capacity, he has the overall responsibility for the full range of Coast Guard maritime safety and security missions carried out in the Mid-Atlantic region from central New Jersey through North Carolina.  This area encompasses 1.4 Million square miles of ocean, bays, and rivers that are unique and filled with historical significance, several major Mid-Atlantic ports, the largest naval base in the world, and our Nation’s Capital.

Prior to arriving at the Fifth Coast Guard District, Rear Admiral Smith served as Commander of Coast Guard Force Readiness Command (FORCECOM) in which he supported readiness for operational commanders through training, leadership development, readiness assessments, major exercise support and tactics, techniques and procedures.

Other previous assignments include the Director, Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATF West), where he executed Department of Defense counterdrug activities, defended the Homeland and stabilized the theater by hardening the environment against the growth of transnational crime and disrupting transnational criminal organizations that threatened U.S. interests. 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.

Rear Admiral Smith has extensive operational experience with a specialty in tactical law enforcement and Port/Homeland Security Operations. During his 36-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 for Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) Los Angeles/Long Beach. Rear Admiral Smith also served as Deputy Operations Officer for the Deployable Operations Group (DOG) and Commanding Officer of the Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT), the Coast Guard’s only counter terrorism unit.

His personal Awards include two Legion of Merits, the Armed Forces Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, six Meritorious Service Medals, 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, 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.