ARLINGTON, Virginia – Newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Tori Smith is keeping a family tradition going strong – and it’s a long-standing tradition.
Smith was commissioned into the Army Medical Corps March 13 in a ceremony led by her father, Lt. Gen. Leslie C. Smith, the Inspector General of the Army. Lt. Gen. Smith, who plans to retire from the Army in 2021, has been in the Army since 1983.
“I do a lot of promotions and a lot of retirements. It’s not very often you get to commission your kid,” Lt. Gen. Smith said.
Besides Lt. Gen. Smith and his daughter, Lt. Gen. Smith’s brother, sister, and several uncles have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
“We talk about service to the Nation,” said Lt. Gen. Smith. “She’s the next generation of that.”
2nd Lt. Smith, a 2018 graduate of Georgia Southern University with a degree in biology, will start medical school in July at Howard University in Washington. Upon completion of medical school, she will serve as an Army physician.
The newly commissioned lieutenant recalled a chance encounter when she was about 9 years old that set her on the path to medical school. A man attending a social function at the Smith residence stopped her and asked what she wanted to do when she grew up – and she didn’t have an answer.
The man looked at her hands and said “You have surgeon’s hands.”
2nd Lt. Smith said, “You never know the impact on a child’s life when you take the time to have a small, uplifting conversation.”
She also described the challenges she had in college, and the positive influences that helped her through to realize her dream of attending medical school.
“I can’t wait to serve my patients and serve my Nation as well,” 2nd Lt. Smith said.