WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard is mourning the recent loss of its second Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, Phillip F. Smith, who died June 22, 2017.
Smith took the post of Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard August 1, 1973. As the second enlisted man to serve as the enlisted advisor to the Commandant, Smith was able to stay connected to the enlisted ranks throughout the service and maintained a liaison with his counterparts in the other four armed services through the end of his tour in 1977.
“Janet and I wish the Smith family our deepest condolences and they will remain in our thoughts and prayers,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steve Cantrell of his predecessor. “Phil's legacy of leadership and his passion for the development of our service's Command Senior Enlisted Leader Program will continue to inspire generations of Coast Guard leaders and he will remain an example for all of us to follow both professionally and personally. He prided himself on listening to and carrying forth the concerns and well-being of the enlisted. Most importantly for Phil was getting out and speaking with the enlisted force so that he could better look after them.”
Smith enlisted in the Coast Guard September 20, 1949, and after recruit training served on board the Coast Guard Cutter Rhododendron, a buoy tender based in Seattle, Wash. After attending Yeoman School at the Coast Guard Training Center in Groton, Conn., in 1950, he returned to Seattle to serve in the Operations Division, 13th Coast Guard District. Smith did a tour of sea duty aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Bering Strait in the Pacific from September 1952 to May 1954 out of Honolulu, Hawaii, and returned to Seattle to serve as Yeoman in the Personnel Division of the 13th District.
Additional tours of duty were at the Marine Inspection Office, Guam, M.I., Coast Guard Air Station, Port Angeles, Wash., the Personnel Division at the 17th Coast Guard District, Juneau, Alaska, Coast Guard Air Station, San Diego, Calif., and the Personnel Division of the 11th Coast Guard District at Long Beach, Calif. From March 1968 to March 1969, he served on board the Coast Guard Cutter Staten Island, operating out of Seattle. He then returned to the Personnel Division in the 13th District and in the meantime had advanced to the rate of two-star Master Chief Yeoman on July 1, 1966. While serving his last tour of duty at Seattle, he was selected as the second Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard by the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Adm. Chester K. Bender.
Smith’s service medals and awards include the Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal with silver star, the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, the United Nations Service Medal and the Korean Service Medal.
Internment was conducted Tuesday at Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, Wash.