Capt. Sam “Smokey” White, a graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in Chemistry, received his commission at Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, FL. Following completion of Surface Officer School in Newport, R.I., he reported to USS Tortuga (LSD 46) where he served as the second division officer. During this tour, White earned his Surface Warfare Officer designation and completed a Sixth Fleet (6th Fleet) deployment.
In 1999, he returned to Pensacola, FL. for flight training. After initial P-3 Orion training in VP-30, he reported to the VP-45 “Pelicans,” in Jacksonville, FL. There he served as the assistant operations officer, line division officer and communications officer. While with the “Pelicans”, he completed deployments to Roosevelt Roads, P.R., Iceland, and Sigonella, Italy.
In 2004, White completed his first Individual Augmentee (IA) tour to Iraq. He subsequently reported to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron ONE (VX-1) in Patuxent River, MD., serving as the operational test director for the P-3 AIP. While with VX-1, he completed a second IA tour in Baghdad, Iraq. His department head tour was in VP-16, where he served as the operations, training and admin Officer. White completed a Seventh Fleet (7th Fleet) deployment with VP-16.
In 2010, White reported to Navy Personnel Command as DC placement officer. In 2013, he re-commissioned VT-4 in Pensacola, FL where they sun-downed the T-39 aircraft. Following his command tour in VT-4, he reported to U.S. Navy Central Command (NAVCENT) as the deputy, and then director of Future Operations (FOPS) from 2014 to 2017. He then served as the Joint Reconnaissance Chief at U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) in Hawaii from 2017 to 2019. He returned to NAVCENT as the N5 in 2019. White is a 2007 graduate of the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), Montgomery, AL, where he received a master’s degree in Military Operational Art and Science.
His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Commendation medal (two awards), Navy Achievement Medal (seven awards) and multiple individual, unit and campaign awards.
Capt. White assumed Command of U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on June 17, 2021.