United States Air Force Academy

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Major Nicholas Smith

Instructor of History

Department of History

Official Photo of Nicholas Smith
Contact Information

(719) 333-8540



Major Nicholas Smith grew up in an Air Force family and lived across the United States, Spain, and Okinawa before he enlisted in the United States Army in 2000 and served a three-year tour as a paratrooper with the 20th Combat Engineer Brigade at Ft. Bragg, NC.  After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas, San Antonio with a major in history and a minor in anthropology, Major Smith attended Officer Training School at Maxwell AFB, AL and was commissioned in 2007.

Afterwards, Major Smith attended Undergraduate Navigator Training at Randolph AFB, graduated in 2008 and was assigned to the E-3 AWACS at Tinker AFB, OK, and later to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK.  Major Smith would go on to deploy on three occasions in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, New Dawn, and Inherent Resolve, and fly over 1000 combat hours over Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.  He currently instructs world history at the United States Air Force Academy.


Master of Arts, History (emphasis on World), University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 2019

Master of Arts, History (emphasis on American), American Military University, 2013

Bachelor of Arts, History, University of Texas, San Antonio 2006

Professional Experience

Instructor, Department of History, U.S. Air Force Academy (2020-present)

Chief of Flight Deck Training, 552 ACW Tinker AFB, OK (2018-2019)

Evaluator Navigator, 966 AACS Tinker AFB, OK (2016-2018)

Evaluator Navigator, 3 OG JBER, AK (2014-2016)

Flight Commander, 962 AACS JBER, AK (2013-2014)

Chief of Flight Safety, 552 ACW Tinker AFB, OK (2011-2013)

Honors & Awards

Army Achievement Medal

Air Medal x 3

Air Force Commendation Medal

380 AEW Aircrew Safety Award (Quarterly)

12 AF Aircrew Safety Award (Quarterly)

Phi Alpha Theta Member

Research and Scholarly Interests

American History

World History

World War I

Napoleonic Wars