Just-Confirmed Marine Corps Leader Admitted To Hospital After Apparent Heart Attack

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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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.

Two defense officials said Smith suffered an apparent heart attack Sunday evening, USNI News reported.

Smith was last seen at the Marine Corps Marathon near Washington, D.C., on Sunday, where he was greeting participants at the finish line, USNI News reported.

“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. (RELATED: ‘We Made Him Blink’: Sen. Tuberville Touts ‘Legislative Win’ Over Schumer)

Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl, the senior officer at the Marine Corps’ headquarters, will serve in Smith’s stead, Del Toro said.

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.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include new information from USNI News.

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