Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Eric Smith, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was hospitalized after experiencing a medical emergency.

The Marine Corps’ top officer suffered an apparent heart attack, according to USNI News.

“Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Eric Smith was hospitalized after suffering an apparent heart attack on Sunday evening, two defense officials confirmed to USNI News on Monday,” the outlet wrote.

“Gen. Eric M. Smith, @CMC_MarineCorps, experienced a medical emergency on the evening of Oct. 29, 2023, and is currently receiving care at the hospital. Additional information regarding General Smith’s condition will be released at a later time,” the U.S. Marines wrote on social media.

From the U.S. Marines:

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Eric M. Smith experienced a medical emergency on the evening of Oct. 29, 2023, and has been hospitalized.

Due to the vacancy in the Office of the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, in accordance with 10 U.S.C. § 8044, the most senior officer of the Marine Corps in the Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl, is performing the duties of the Commandant.

Additional information regarding the condition of General Smith will be released at a later time.

Per USNI News:

The Marine Corps did not provide additional details on the hospitalization. Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl is now performing the duties of Marine commandant, according to a statement from the service.

Heckl is the deputy commandant for combat development and integration. He is the most senior officer within Headquarters, Marine Corps, the service noted in the release. There is currently not a Senate-confirmed assistant commandant in place.

As of Monday afternoon, there were no additional details on Smith’s condition.

In a Monday statement, the service said, “additional information regarding the condition of General Smith will be released at a later time.”

Smith was last seen in public on Sunday afternoon greeting runners at the finish line for the Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Va.

In an address on Friday, he told reporters he was doing the job of both the Marine commandant and assistant commandant of the service, pending the confirmation of the new number-two officer in the Marine Corps, Lt. Gen. Christopher Mahoney. Mahoney has been nominated for a fourth star and to serve as the assistant commandant.

“The Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General Eric M. Smith has been Hospitalized since last night, October 29th, due to a currently Unknown Medical Emergency; because of this Lieutenant General Karsten Heckl, the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration and the Commanding General for Marine Corps Combat Development Command is the now the Acting-Commandant of the Marine Corps and will remain so until General Smith can return to Active Duty and/or a New Commandant is chosen by U.S. President Biden,” Open Source Intelligence Monitor wrote.


The Washington Post reports:

Officials have not said where Smith, 58, is being treated or when he could be released. A Marine Corps official told The Washington Post that the general’s family requested that no further details be made public for now.

Smith, 58, ascended to the job in late September, attaining Senate approval amid an acrimonious and ongoing political feud that, for much of the year, has halted movement on nearly all other senior military nominations put forward by President Biden. The blockade, imposed by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) in protest of the Pentagon’s abortion policy, has affected hundreds of positions throughout the force.

Smith was previously the service’s assistant commandant, a post that remains vacant amid the Senate’s ongoing gridlock. That has left the general to shoulder the responsibilities of both jobs since July, when his predecessor retired.

Speaking at a conference days before last month’s confirmation vote, Smith described feeling exhausted by his daily work schedule, which at that time, he said, often began at 5 a.m. and did not conclude until 11:30 p.m. “It is not a sustainable thing,” the general told those in attendance, according to an account by the independent Marine Corps Times.

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