Major General Smith is the Military Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), the US military’s largest service branch with over 1,018,000 personnel in the Active, National Guard, and Reserve force. She is responsible for developing innovative policy and providing oversight for the Army Quality of Life portfolio.
She is also the senior openly LGBTQ officer in the U.S. military. Upon her promotion to Brigadier General in 2012 (mere months after the repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell) General Smith gained unexpected visibility as the first openly LGBT General/Flag officer in the U.S. military. Rather than downplay the significance of this unanticipated status, General Smith leveraged her role to promote inclusion and diversity in the Army and the Department of Defense, contributing to a culture of acceptance and trust in a post-Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell military. General Smith chose to be a visible role model for an inclusive military that is representative of the nation’s all-volunteer force. She demonstrates that military identity is the foremost identity of a soldier serving in an active status while also acknowledging the intersectionality of other personal identities.