Gen. Eric Smith, the commandant of the Marine Corps, was hospitalized after an emergency Sunday night, the service said in a statement.
The Marine Corps’ top military leader was confirmed in the Senate in September serving a dual role as the acting and assistant commandant for the Marine Corps since his predecessor stepped down in July, leaving the service without a confirmed leader for the first time in 164 years. The Marine Corps did not provide any additional details on his hospitalization in the statement and declined to answer the Daily Caller News Foundation’s questions out of respect for the family.
“Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Eric M. Smith experienced a medical emergency on the evening of Oct. 29, 2023, and has been hospitalized,” Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said in a statement.
Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl, the senior officer at the Marine Corps’ headquarters, will serve in Smith’s stead, Del Toro said.
It was a great honor to host Japanese Ambassador to the US, His Excellency TOMITA Koji, last week at the Home of the Commandants @MBWDC. Our alliance with Japan is stronger than ever. Thank you for your friendship @JapanEmbDC pic.twitter.com/MzsKNVwQEo
— Commandant of the @USMC (@CMC_MarineCorps) October 28, 2023
Heckl serves as deputy commandant for combat development and integration, according to USNI News. Currently, there is no confirmed second-in-command to Smith to take his place, as he was still serving in a dual role.
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