CAPT Tara Smith

FORCE MENTAL HEALTH OFFICER

05 August 2021
Captain Tara Smith
Captain Tara Smith
Captain Tara Smith
Captain Tara Smith
Captain Tara Smith
Photo By: CNSP
VIRIN: 210805-N-N0831-0003
Capt. Tara Smith, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in 1995 and her Doctor of Philosophy degree in clinical psychology from The University of Iowa in 2000.

She was commissioned in 1999 and following Officer Indoctrination School in Newport, Rhode Island, completed her internship at Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California. In 2000, she was assigned to Naval Medical Clinic, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii as a staff Psychologist and the Licensed Independent Practitioner (LIP) for the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program (SARP). In 2003 she served as the Ship’s Psychologist and SARP LIP onboard the forward deployed aircraft carrier, USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), home-ported in Yokosuka, Japan. During this tour, she earned her qualification as a Surface Warfare Medical Department Officer (SWMDO).

Captain Smith transferred to the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland in 2005 where she supervised Psychiatry and Psychology residents on the inpatient ward and outpatient clinic, and served as the Command Managed Equal Opportunity officer. Her leadership roles included Department Head and Assistant Director of the Mental Health directorate. She deployed as an individual augmentee with the Army 113th Medical Company to Baghdad, Iraq.

Smith’s next tour, in 2008, was at Naval Hospital Sigonella, Sicily, where she served as SARP LIP and deployed with the Marines’ Combat Logistics Batallion-4 to Ramadi, Iraq and earned the Fleet Marine Force qualification. She then reported to Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. and Presidential Helicopter Squadron-One (HMX-1) in 2010 where she served as the Presidential Support Program Coordinator and served active duty and civilians at Marine Barracks, HMX-1, the White House Communications Agency, Camp David and the White House Medical Unit. She screened personnel for presidential duty, conducted psychological testing, suitability evaluations and treatment and provided ceremonial support to commands in the National Capital Area.

Captain Smith then reported to U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan in 2013 as the Department Head of Mental Health and then the Director for Medical Services where she led the largest clinical directorate in the command comprised of seven (7) primary care departments in the hospital.

In 2016 Captain Smith served as the program manager and subject matter expert for the Navy Suicide Prevention Program in the 21st Century Sailor Office (OPNAV N171) before reporting in 2019 to COMNAVSURFPAC as the Force Mental Health officer for the embedded mental health program.

Captain Smith’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit Medal, Bronze Star Meritorious Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Army Achievement Medal. She has been awarded the Presidential Service Badge.
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