Learn more about the members of our team, or contact us for assistance.
Meet Our Team
James E. Smith Jr.
Executive Director of Military Programs and Strategies
Service History: After 9/11 and serving for eight years as a JAG officer in the South Carolina Army
National Guard, James resigned and then reenlisted to pursue a commission as an infantry
officer. James is currently a major and assigned to the Joint Operations Center, South
Carolina Joint Forces Command. James served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghanistan with the 218th Infantry Brigade, where he was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s
Badge, the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart. He was recognized by his peers
in 2016 when he was the first to be awarded the University of South Carolina Veterans
Alumni Council’s Distinguished Service Award. In 2018, James was inducted as one of
only two majors into the Palmetto Military Academy Hall of Fame.
Education/Major(s): BA in Political Science (1990) and JD from the University of South Carolina School
of Law (1995)
James is currently the sole shareholder of his firm, James E. Smith, Jr., P.A. and
served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for 11 terms over 22 years and
was house minority leader from 2002 until 2005.
James has served on various nonprofit boards and has volunteered with numerous civic
groups. James joined the university in January 2019 to help cultivate programs and
partnerships to bolster the university's strategy for military-affiliated students.
Director of Military Engagement and Veteran Initiatives
Service History: Served with 2D Recon Battalion and 2D Force Recon from 2005 to 2009. Separated from
Marine Corps in 2009 and enrolled at South Carolina as a student veteran.
Education/Major(s): BS in Sport and Entertainment Management (2012) and MBA in Business Administration
and Management (2017)
Jared supports the university's innovative effort to support and attract military-affiliated
students in the classroom and via distance learning. Along with being university advisor
to the Student Veterans Association, he is a founding member and current university
liaison for the My Carolina Veterans Alumni Council. Jared serves on the board of
Palmetto State Base Camp, Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation — SC 5K Walk/Run,
9/11 Remembrance Foundation of South Carolina and Fisher House Foundation — Columbia,
Associate Registrar for Veterans Enrollment Services
Service History: Chris’ dad was commissioned in the U.S. Army following his time in the Army ROTC program
at Wofford College. His grandfather served during World War II as a crew chief on
the Lockheed P-38 Lightning for the Army Air Corps.
Education/Major(s): BA in Religion with minors in business administration and philosophy from Presbyterian
College, M.Ed. in Higher Education from South Carolina (2016)
Chris manages the Office of Veterans Services for the university. With 11 years in
higher education and six years working with veterans, his office is responsible for
the certification of VA educational benefits as well as military-affiliated student
onboarding. Chris serves as chair for the Veterans Student Services Advisory Committee,
which works to deliver student-centered, connected and sustainable services universitywide.
Student Veterans Association President
Service History: Scott has served as an Airborne Infantryman in the U.S. Army from 2006-13. He has
spent 27 months in Afghanistan in Kamdesh and Logar Provinces where he was wounded
in combat and received a Purple Heart. After his retirement, he continues to serve
as an Army spouse based out of Shaw AFB, SC.
Education/Major: Pursuing a BS in Computer Science class of 2021. Scott maintains a 3.6 GPA has received
4 merit based scholarships.
Scott Serves as the President of the University of South Carolina’s Student Veterans
Association focusing on student veteran engagement and fundraising for service related
scholarships. He also works under the VA work study program as a Veterans Services
Coordinator for Veteran and Military Services and as SVA President, serves on the
Veteran Student Services Advisory Committee for the university.
Undergraduate Veteran Liaison, Student Government Association
Graduate Veteran Liaison, Student Government Association