Chaplain Colonel (Retired) J. Wesley Smith is a Senior Military Analyst at the American Center for Law and Justice. He served 26 years in the Army, with two combat deployments. Prior to his retirement in 2013 Wesley was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Chaplains (Headquarters Department of the Army) with duty as the Senior Army Chaplain at Dover Air Force Base and the Dover Port Mortuary, as well as the senior-ranking Army Chaplain for over-watch of all Casualty Operations. Wesley organized the first Joint Service Team at the Dover Casualty Mortuary Operations Center. In that assignment, Chaplain Smith also re-designed the Casualty Notification system for the entire Army and was charged with implementing the training Army-wide.
In his military career, he served as a Field Artillery Battalion Chaplain, a Field Hospital Chaplain, a Battalion and Assistant Brigade Chaplain with US Army Aviation, and as the Brigade Chaplain for the 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division. He served four years as the Religion and Culture Analyst for Army Central Command (ARCENT) where he advised the Commanding General’s staff on the impact of religion and culture on the Army’s mission in the 17 countries in which ARCENT operated.
His military education includes the Chaplain Officer Basic Course, the Chaplain Officer Advanced Course, Combined Armed Services Staff School, The Chaplain Colonels Course, and the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Chaplain Smith holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity Degree from Vanderbilt University, and the Doctor of Ministry Degree from the University of the South at Sewanee. He received his Master’s Degree in Law with a focus in National Security from Regent University. He is an Episcopal Priest affiliated with the Diocese of Atlanta.
Among his awards and decorations are the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Meritorious Unit Citation, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon with the numeral 3, the Saudi Arabia Liberation of Kuwait Medal and the Kuwait Liberation of Kuwait Medal.