Dr. M.V. "Coyote" Smith, Col, USAF-RET

DR. M.V. “COYOTE” SMITH, Colonel, USAF-Retired (PhD)

Dr. M.V. “Coyote” Smith, PhD, is a professor of strategic studies at the Air University's eSchool of Graduate Professional Military Education.  He retired from active duty in August 2016 while serving as professor of strategic space studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies.  Prior to this, he served as the Director of the Center for Strategy and Technology where he led PROJECT BLUE HORIZONS for the Air Force Chief of Staff.  Earlier, he served at the Pentagon as the Chief of “Dream Works,” which was the Future Concepts division of the National Security Space Office where he led the Defense Science Board and directed the Space-Based Solar Power Study.

The colonel was raised in North Conway, New Hampshire, and entered the Air Force in 1976 as a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol.  In 1986 he was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Program at Saint Michael’s College in Winooski, Vermont.  He has served in various flying, space, and missile assignments and as an instructor at the USAF Weapons School.  He commanded the 321st Missile Squadron at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne Wyoming, where his unit was recognized as the “Best ICBM Squadron in the Air Force.”

During Operation Allied Force (Kosovo) he served as a strategist and targeting officer on Lt General Michael Short's staff at the Air Component headquarters at Dal Molin Air Base in Vicenza, Italy.  During Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), he served at USCENTCOM Headquarters as a strategist on General Tommy Frank’s staff.  He later served as the chief air and space power strategist on the Pentagon’s Strategic Planning Council during Operation Iraqi Freedom, providing advice to the Joint Staff and the Secretary of Defense.



1986 Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, Cum Laude, Saint Michael’s College, Winooski, VT.

1986 Distinguished Graduate, AFROTC, Saint Michael’s College, Winooski, VT.

1987 Distinguished Graduate, Missile Combat Crew Training, Vandenberg AFB, CA.

1991 Master of Arts Degree in Political Science, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD.

1992 Squadron Officer’s School, Maxwell AFB, AL.

1994 Distinguished Graduate, Undergraduate Space Training, Vandenberg AFB, CA.

1996 Distinguished Graduate, USAF Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, NV.

2000 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL.

2001 Master of Airpower Art and Science, School of Advanced Air and Space Power Studies, Maxwell AFB, AL.

2004 Air War College, Nonresident Learning Program, Maxwell AFB, AL.

2011 Doctor of Philosophy, Strategic Studies-Politics and International Relations, University of Reading, UK.



1. November 1986 - May 1987, Student, EuroNATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, 88th Flying Training Squadron, Sheppard AFB, TX.

2. May 1987 - October 1987, Student, Missile Combat Crew Training, Vandenberg AFB, CA.

3. October 1987 - June 1991, Instructor, Evaluator, Flight Commander, Missile Combat Crew Commander,      67th Strategic Missile Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, SD.

4. June 1991 - August 1993, Wing Executive Officer, 44th Missile Wing, Ellsworth AFB, SD.

5. August 1993 - February 1994, Chief, Facilities Maintenance Flight, 44th Field Missile Maintenance Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, SD.

6. February 1994 - April 1994, Student, Undergraduate Space Training, Vandenberg AFB, CA.

7. April 1994 - April 1995, Chief of Current Operations, 2nd Command and Control Squadron, Schriever AFB, CO.

8. May 1995 - August 1995, Executive Officer, 4409th Operations Group (P), Riyadh Air Base, Saudi Arabia.

9. August 1995 - June 1996, Deputy Chief, Passive Operations, 21st Operations Support Sq, Peterson AFB, CO.

10. June 1996 - April 1999, Space Weapons Instructor, USAF Weapons School, Nellis AFB, NV.

11. April 1999 - July 1999, Space and IO Campaign Planner, Strategy/Guidance, Apportionment And Targeting Cell, 5th Allied Tactical Air Force Combined Air Operations Center, Dal Molin Air Base, Vicenza, Italy (Attached).

12. August 1999 - June 2000, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL.

13. July 2000 - June 2001, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, AL.

14. July 2001 - September 2001, Strategist, Strategy, Concepts, and Doctrine Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC.

15. September 2001 - December 2001, Strategist and Campaign Planner, Space and Information Operations Element, Headquarters U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB, FL (Air Staff Liaison).

16. January 2002 - June 2003, Chief, Doctrine Branch, Strategy, Concepts, and Doctrine Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC.

17.  June 2003 – September 2003, Chief, Wing Safety, 90th Space Wing, F. E. Warren AFB, WY.

18.  September 2003 - July 2005, Commander, 321st Missile Squadron, F. E. Warren AFB, WY.

19.  August 2005 – September 2007, Chief, Future Concepts ("Dream Works"), National Security Space Office, Pentagon, Washington, DC.

20. September 2007 – August 2010, Doctoral Student, University of Reading, UK.

21. September 2010 – July 2011, Director, National Space Studies Center, Maxwell AFB, AL.

22. August 2011 – October 2012, Director, Center for Strategy & Technology, Maxwell AFB, AL.

23. November 2012 – July 2016, Professor at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, AL.

24. August 2016 – Present, Professor of Strategy at the eSchool of Professional PME, Maxwell AFB, AL.



Command Space Operator Badge

Master Missile Operator Badge

Senior Aircraft and Missile Maintenance Badge

Basic Information Management Badge



2008 Space Pioneer Award presented by the National Space Society

Legion of Merit

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster

Joint Service Achievement Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters

Combat Readiness Medal with oak leaf cluster

National Defense Service Medal with bronze star

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Southwest Asia Service Medal with bronze star

Kosovo Campaign Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal with N device

NATO Medal



Smith, M.V. “Cognac With Douhet.”  Air and Space Power Chronicles, 01 May 2001.

Smith, M.V. Ten Propositions Regarding Spacepower (Maxwell AFB, AL: AU Press, October 2002).

Smith, M.V. “Some Propositions on Spacepower,” Joint Force Quarterly 33, Winter 2002-2003, 56-64.

Smith, M.V. “Spacepower and Warfare,” Joint Forces Quarterly 60, 1st Quarter, Jan 2011 42-45.

M.V. Smith, “Security and Spacepower,” in Toward a Theory of Spacepower, eds. Charles D. Lutes and Peter L. Hays, et al., (Washington DC: National University Press, 2011), Ch 17, online.

Sherry Bell and M.V. Smith, “Human Migration into Space is a Biological Imperative,” Journal of Space Philosophy, Vol 1, No 1, Fall 2012, 103-110, online.

M.V. Smith, “Spacepower and War Prevention,” Internat Rel and Security Network, 7 May 2013, Online.

M.V. Smith, "America Needs a US Space Corps," appearing in:

     War is Boring, 28 Feb 17,

     Early Bird, 1 Mar 17,

     Space Review, 13 Mar 17.



Second Lieutenant May 10, 1986

First Lieutenant Aug 10, 1988

Captain Aug 10, 1990

Major May 1, 1998

Lieutenant Colonel Nov 1, 2002

Colonel Mar 1, 2008

Retirement Aug 1, 2016

(Current as of Mar 2017)

Broadcast 2890 Col. Coyote Smith

Guest:  Dr. M.V. "Coyote" Smith, Col, USAF RET; Topics"  The proposal titled "America Needs a US Space Corp."  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com.   Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use.

Broadcast 959 (Special Edition)

Guests: Col. M. V. (Coyote Smith; Dr. David Livingston: ISDC 2008 Interview # 4 starts off with a quality discussion with Col. M. V. (Coyote) Smith, USAF, regarding the business case potential and the need for developing space solar power. This is a hard-hitting discussion in the hotel coffee shop about what is needed for space solar power to be developed. During this interview, not only do we discuss business case facts, but energy policy, the capability of the private sector to develop a demo project, other nations and their work toward SSP as well as their capability to do the project.

Broadcast 747 (Special Edition)

USAF Col. Michael V. Smith (Coyote) was the guest for this Space Show program. As Chief of Future Concepts of the National Security Space Office, Col. Smith looks forward in time to how best to design and bring to fruition advanced technology that is not yet doable today in 2007. The program today largely focused on Space-Based Solar Power (SSP) and the Feasibility Study he is undertaking, a study which ends Sept. 15, 2007. Later during the show we also talked about launch platforms and the need for RLVs. Col.

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