COL John A. Smyrski III enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard in 1982 and entered basic training at Fort Dix, NJ. He later graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate from Saint John’s University, Collegeville, MN, in 1985, where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Aviation Branch.
Following Initial Entry Rotary Wing flight training, COL Smyrski’s assignments included serving as an OH-58A/C Aeroscout Pilot and Assistant Brigade S4, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC; Platoon Leader and then Company Executive Officer, 2/82nd Aviation Battalion (Assault), Fort Bragg; Aeroscout Instructor Pilot, Flight Leader, and later Platoon Commander, 1-14th Aviation Regiment, Fort Rucker, AL; and OV-1D/RV-1D Mohawk pilot, Assistant Battalion S3, and finally Force Modernization Officer, 224th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation), Hunter Army Airfield, Fort Stewart, GA.
COL Smyrski’s Medical Corps experience includes assignments as Brigade Surgeon, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, Wheeler AAF, Hawaii; Chief, Aviation Medicine Clinic, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Division Surgeon, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks; Assistant Chief and then Chief, Medical Corps Branch, US Army Human Resources Command, Fort Knox, KY; and Assistant Chief of Staff, Clinical Operations, Pacific Regional Medical Command, Honolulu, HI. COL Smyrski most recently served as Commander, US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Rucker, AL. He has deployed to Haiti, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
COL Smyrski earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Science from Saint John’s University, Collegeville, MN; a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; a Master of Business Administration degree from Troy University, Dothan, AL; and a Medical Doctorate from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD. COL Smyrski is residency trained in Family Medicine and Aerospace Medicine. He is also a graduate of the Aviation Officer Basic Course, Military Intelligence Officer Advanced Course, Intermediate Level Education, and Aviation Safety Officer Course. COL Smyrski is currently enrolled in the US Army War College.
COL Smyrski’s awards and decorations include Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (5 OLC), Air Medals (with numeral 2), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (1 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (5 OLC), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Iraqi and Afghanistan Campaign Medals, Humanitarian Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, United Nations Medal, Expert Field Medical Badge, Combat Medical Badge, Master Aviator Badge, Master Flight Surgeon Badge, Naval Flight Surgeon Badge, Army Space Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (gold award). He is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit, the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) Order of Saint Michael (bronze award), and the Society of US Army Flight Surgeons Order of Aeromedical Merit. COL Smyrski is also an Associate Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association, a member of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, and two time recipient (2004, 2014) of the AAAA Aviation Medicine Award for Flight Surgeon of the Year.