One of soldiers shot during assassination attempt identified as US Army general

KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (July 3, 2018) -- U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley, Train, Advise and Assist Command-South commander, sits down with 205th Afghan National Army Corp Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Rahman Parwani and Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq, Afghan Police - Kandahar Commander, to discuss the operational needs of the province in Kandahar, Afghanistan, July 3, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Antony J. Martinez)

A US Army one-star general was wounded during last week’s surprise attack by the Taliban.

Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley sustained a gunshot wound during the October 18 attack at Kandahar Palace, when an alleged Taliban member posing as a bodyguard opened fire on high-level US and Afghan commanders during a meeting.

Smiley -commander of Train, Advise Assist and Command- South- was one of two Americans wounded during the incident. During the attack, the assailant killed the Kandahar chief of police and head of intelligence, while wounding the very governor he was supposed to protect.

The gunfire was confined to inside of the governor’s compound, and the Taliban quickly took credit for the incident, claiming the gunman’s primary targets were US Army general Scott Miller and Afghan Provincial Police Chief General Abdul Raziq.

“The brutal police chief of Kandahar has been killed along several other officials,” a Taliban statement said.

According to his NATO profile, General Smiley began his military career as an enlisted man in 1983, when he joined up to be an Engineer in the US Marines. Later transferring to the Oregon Army National Guard, he served in the 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

In 1987, Smiley transferred to the California Army National Guard, eventually getting an officer’s commission the following year.

Since 1988, Smiley commanded two infantry companies, served as an aide for The Adjutant General for the State of California, served as operations officers on multiple levels and commanded a Special Troops Battalion.

Regularly assigned to staff and command assignments, Smiley was at home with his Afghanistan deployment in 2010, when he served as Chief of Staff and then as Deputy Commanding Officer for 101st Airborne Division’s Tactical Command Post and Senior Mentor to 201st Corps Afghan Army, 202nd Shamshod Afghan National Police, and Zone 1 Afghan Border Police.

Upon his return to the US, he assumed command of the 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in 2013, and would eventually become Chief of Staff for the California Army National Guard. Promoted to Brigadier General in 2017, he took over as the commander of Train Advise Assist Command- South (TAAC-S) on June 30th, 2018.

Smiley holds several awards, including the Legion of Merit with one bronze oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with one silver and one bronze oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and NATO Medal. State awards include the California Legion of Merit, California Medal of Merit, California Commendation Medal, California Service Medal with silver redwood cluster, California Adjutant General’s Meritorious Unit Citation and Louisiana Emergency Service Medal. He is a graduate of the United States Army War College.

According to a Nato spokesman, Smiley was confirmed to have been wounded in the attack, and is still in command of TAAC-S, at least for the time being.

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