The Union Recorder

Local News

April 10, 2014

Students to be recognized during Academic Honors Parade

MILLEDGEVILLE — Georgia Military College will recognize students who have achieved academic distinction with a parade in their honor.

Featuring the 135th Corps of Cadets, the Academic Honors Parade will be held Friday at 2:30 p.m. on Grant Parade.

Guest speaker will be Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Perry M. Smith, who served 30 years in the United States Air Force.

Smith is a teacher, author and TV and radio commentator. A retired major general, Smith served for 30 years in the U. S. Air Force. During his military career he commanded an F-15 fighter wing in Germany, served as the top Air Force planner, and was commandant of the National War College. During the Vietnam War Smith flew 180 combat missions in F-4 aircraft over Laos and North Vietnam.

Born into a military family at West Point, Smith traveled extensively throughout his youth. He watched the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at age six (he was on the way to Sunday School in the back of an Army truck that fateful morning). Immediately after World War II, he lived in Italy where his father served in the British-American military government of Italy. After attending twelve schools in this country and overseas, he graduated from Highland Falls High School in New York in 1952.

He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1956. At West Point, he played intercollegiate lacrosse. After his senior year, he was named as a member of the second team All American lacrosse team. Smith later earned his Ph.D. in international relations from Columbia University. His dissertation earned the Helen Dwight Reid award from the American Political Science Association in 1968. He has written six books. “Rules and Tools for Leaders,” with more than 300,000 copies in print, is Smith’s most successful book.

He served as CNN’s military analyst from 1991 until he resigned in protest over CNN’s 1998 bogus nerve gas special (the Valley of Death). He later served on contract with NBC, MSNBC, CBS TV and CBS radio. He is a frequent op-ed contributor to the Augusta Chronicle.

Smith assisted in the editing and marketing of the book “Medal of Honor” by Peter Collier. This best-selling book profiles the remarkable life stories of living Medal of Honor recipients. This book includes a 90 minute DVD narrated by Brian Williams. The third edition of this book was published in October 2011. It contains the life stories of recipients from World War II to the War on Terror.

Smith spends much of his time teaching corporate executives, MBA scholars, government and military leaders, church groups and non-profits. His subjects include leadership, ethics, strategic planning, heroism, innovation and dealing with the media. He has been an enrichment speaker for Crystal Cruises since 1992. Smith has lived in Thailand, Germany, France, Italy and Turkey and his travels has taken him to more than one hundred nations.

Since moving to Augusta in 1990, he has been active in community activities including raising funds for the river rooms of Saint Paul’s Church, the new Fisher House, the Kroc Center, the Boy Scouts, the Heritage Academy and the Augusta Museum of History. A former board member of the Augusta Kiwanis Club, he has been an effective recruiter of new members. Recently, the club, in recognition of his leadership, presented him with the George Barrett Award. Smith serves as  president emeritus of the board of trustees for the Augusta Museum of History and serves on the board of the Augusta Warrior Project.

The Gen. Perry Smith Parkway was dedicated in his honor in 2011. When completed, this parkway will provide access to a new industrial park which will be adjacent to the Augusta Regional Airport.

Smith is married to the former Connor Cleckley Dyess. Connor is the daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Dyess, US Marine Corps–the only person to have earned America’s two highest awards for heroism, the Medal of Honor and the Carnegie Medal. The Smiths have two children and five grandchildren — all who live on the West Coast.

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