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When Bush decided to replace Rumsfeld, Smith was offered the position again, but he declined in order to spend time with his terminally ill daughter.Smith was a supporter of Senator John Mc Cain's 2008 Presidential bid, and had been named Mc Cain's National Co-Chairman of his campaign committee. Business Hall of Fame in 1998 and to the SMEI Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame in 2000.Individuals who completed Navy flight training and became a "Designated Naval Aviator" (pilot) were obligated to serve six years at the time.
He served two tours of duty in Vietnam, flying with pilots on over 200 combat missions.
He was honorably discharged in 1969 with the rank of Captain, having received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts.
Although Smith was friends with both 2004 major candidates, John Kerry and George W.
Bush, Smith chose to endorse Bush's re-election in 2004.
His Silver Star citation reads: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to First Lieutenant Frederick Wallace Smith, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Commanding Officer of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam.
On the morning of , while conducting a search and destroy operation, Company K became heavily engaged with a North Vietnamese Army battalion occupying well-entrenched emplacements on Goi Noi Island in Quang Nam Province.
Smith developed Fed Ex on the business idea of a shipment version of a bank clearing house where one bank clearing house was located in the middle of the representative banks and all their representatives would be sent to the central location to exchange materials.
In the early days of Fed Ex, Smith had to go to great lengths to keep the company afloat.
Smith became a member and eventually the president of the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity and the Skull and Bones secret society. He was specially trained to fly with pilots and observe and 'control' ground action.
He never went through Navy flight training and was not a "Naval aviator" or "pilot" in the military.