Adam Smith was born on October 8, 1983, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on December 16, 2003, and went on active duty to begin basic training on October 27, 2004. Smith completed basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in December 2004, followed by aviation technical training at NATTC Pensacola, Florida, from December 2004 to March 2005. Petty Officer Smith next attended Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at NAB Coronado, California, from March 2005 to February 2007, and then Naval Special Warfare Advanced training from February to August 2007. He then served with SEAL Team FOUR at NAB Little Creek, Virginia, from August 2007 until he was killed in the crash of a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010. Adam Smith was buried at the East Oakwood Cemetery in Bevier, Missouri.
His Bronze Star Medal Citation reads:
For meritorious service in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as team leader for Combined Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan in direct support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM from 6 to 21 September 2010. On 21 September, Petty Officer Smith's platoon conducted a high risk operation in the vicinity of a village deep inside an enemy safe haven in southern Afghanistan. Petty Officer Smith's task, as member of a key supporting element, was to gain the high ground, locate known enemy positions, and protect his teammates. At approximately 0400 hours, Petty Officer Smith's element performed a dynamic insertion on a narrow rocky ridge line and, immediately after touching down, the UH-60 performed an emergency takeoff and subsequently crash landed, fatally wounding Petty Officer Smith. He fully understood the risks and ramifications associated with this mission and courageously answered the call by making the ultimate sacrifice to protect his fellow teammates on the battlefield. Petty Officer Smith's distinctive contributions, unrelenting perseverance, and steadfast devotion to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.