Chief Musician Ritchie Smith is a native of Erin, New York. He enlisted in the Navy immediately after high school graduation in 1991. After completing recruit training and graduating from the Armed Forces School of Music, he transferred to Navy Band Memphis for his first tour of duty. MUC Smith began on-the-job training as the audio engineer for their Rock/Country group “Atlantis”, and served as the drum set player for their Dixieland Music Ensemble.
In 1993, MUC Smith auditioned and was selected for assignment to the U.S. Naval Academy Band as an sound engineer. He currently serves as head of the audio department for the Naval Academy Band. Additionally he is the audio engineer for the concert band and Next Wave jazz ensemble. He also performs as a percussionist in the marching band and ceremonial units. Other duties include maintenance and inventory of all audio equipment for the entire organization, and managing the band’s audio library and archives of all live-performance recordings. As the audio engineer for the Naval Academy Band, MUC Smith has produced and engineered multiple recording projects for the band and the USNA Glee Club. In 2008 he recorded and finalized audio for the USNA “Fulfill Your Destiny” DVD.
MUC Smith has been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards), Meritorious Unit Commendation (2 awards), Navy Good Conduct Medal (7 awards), National Defense Service Medal (2 awards), Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, and the Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal.