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Georgia Southern alumnus promoted to three-star lieutenant general in U.S. Army

Last Friday, Georgia Southern alumnus Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith (‘85) was promoted to a three-star lieutenant general in the U.S. Army. This promotion makes Smith the highest-ranking University alumnus in the military.

Smith, who currently serves as deputy to the inspector general for the Office of the Secretary of the Army, is actively involved with Georgia Southern. He serves as mentor to the Army ROTC Eagle Battalion, keynote speaker for commissioning ceremonies, member of the Alumni Association’s First 500 and supporter of the University’s College of Business. He received the College of Business Alumni of the Year award in 2017 and the Georgia Southern Alumnus of the Year award in 2011.

Previously, Smith was the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Other commands include leading a chemical battalion and a chemical brigade. He is a recipient of numerous awards and decorations including the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster and the Joint Service Achievement Medal.

Smith received his commission in the U.S. Army from Georgia Southern in 1983 as a field artillery officer. In 1985, he completed a bachelor’s degree in accounting as a distinguished military graduate and entered the Army as a chemical officer. Smith holds a Master of Science degree in administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Arts degree in national security strategy from the National Defense University.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 142 degree programs serving more than 27,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Savannah, Statesboro, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit


Posted in Awards and Recognition