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NEWS | June 14, 2023

Why I serve: Maj. Richard Smith

By Fonda Bock U.S. Army Human Resources Command

Maj. Richard Smith is a registered nurse and talent manager for the U.S. Army Reserve Army Nurse Corps, Reserve Personnel Management Directorate of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command.

The Army motto “Be All You Can Be” immediately resonated with Smith when the Army initially launched those five words in 1980. He is the youngest of three siblings who grew up in an impoverished rural area of Mississippi.

In 1984, “my sister, the oldest, joined the Army straight out of high school and traveled around the world as a career Soldier for more than 24 years,” Smith said. “I knew that I wanted to follow in my sister’s footsteps – I wanted to be all that I could be.”

After high school Smith worked in several areas of the health care field, eventually becoming a registered nurse before joining the Army Reserve at age 35 in 2007.

“Two of my greatest career accomplishments are becoming a registered nurse and then becoming an Army nurse,” he said.

After assessing into the Active Guard Reserve program in 2017, Smith’s initial assignment as an AGR Soldier was with the Army Medical Recruiting Company in Seattle, Washington, where he learned how to recruit.

“Within one year’s time, I mastered the art and science of recruiting,” he said. “In 2018, as the officer-in-charge of medical recruiting I led my station to be the top recruiting station within the 6th Medical Recruiting Battalion. I competed against all other station OICs in a knowledge-based competition pertaining to the art and science of recruiting and won the competition on the company level. I advanced in the competition to win OIC of the Year for the 6th Medical Recruiting Battalion.”

Smith also served as the medical director of Health Partners Resources, a nonprofit organization, that helps raise money for impoverished communities in Ghana, Africa. The organization recently raised more than $25,000 for much needed health care and medical supplies. He also served as president of the Black Nurses Rock, Seattle, Washington, Chapter, a nonprofit nursing organization that raised more than $4,000 to help prevent the eviction of a disabled Gulf-War veteran.

“The ‘Be All That You Can Be’ motto helped me to become a better leader and I continually strive to be the best leader that I can be,” he said. “I am honored to serve, inspire, train, coach, mentor and develop Soldiers and personnel under my leadership with the intent of helping them reach their unlimited potential to “be all they can be.”