The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is saddened by the loss of Commodore (Retired) Leon Smith, who passed away on Thursday, January 26, 2023. Commodore Smith was one of the pioneers of a fledgling Defence Force when he officially transferred from the Royal Bahamas Police Force Marine Division in March 1980. He, along with twenty-seven pioneering individuals formed the nucleus of a newly formed Defence Force.At the time, Smith had attained the rank of Deputy Superintendent in the Police Force and was subsequently given the rank of Commander upon being transferred. In 1981 he was promoted to Senior Commander and the following year he was promoted to Captain upon graduating from the Royal Navy Staff College at Greenwich, London.Throughout his tenure within the organization, Commodore Smith also served in the office of Chief Staff Officer Intelligence (CSOI), Squadron Commanding Officer (SCO) and Commanding Officer of HMBS Marlin.The pinnacle of his career was September 30, 1983, when he became the first Bahamian to be promoted to the post of Commodore of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, holding the distinction as the longest serving Commander Defence Force from 1983 to 1997. Commodore Smith’s accomplishments during a 14-year career at the helm of the organization are numerous, which included overseeing the enlistment of the first female Entry in 1985, and establishments of modern infrastructures and personnel development. A well-decorated officer, he has received numerous accolades, including the RBDF Inauguration Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, OBE, CD Order of Distinction Companion and the National Honor Award. In 2014 a RBDF Legend Class bearing his name was commissioned, and the overall Marine of the Year has been named in his honor.The Commander Defence Force, Commodore Raymond King extends sincerest condolences on behalf of himself, members of his Executive Command Team, Officers, Warrant Officers, Senior and Junior Enlisted and Veterans of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, to the family and friends of the late Commodore (Ret.) Leon Smith. It is our prayer that God’s grace will comfort and guide you during your time of bereavement.