The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Eric Smith, was hospitalized after experiencing a “medical emergency” Sunday evening, according to a service press release.
The press release, which was issued Monday afternoon, did not specify the reason for the commandant's hospitalization and did not give Smith's status. The service did not provide additional information when reached Monday afternoon.
The Marine Corps does not have a Senate-confirmed assistant commandant who would normally assume responsibility in the commandant's absence. Smith holds the role of assistant commandant in addition to service chief. In his place, Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl — a three-star officer who also holds two jobs — will serve as acting commandant of the Marine Corps while Smith is in the hospital.
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A spokesperson for the Marine Corps told Military.com that, as of Monday afternoon, the commandant was still in the hospital.
“Out of respect for the family's wishes to remain private, we're not releasing any more information at this time,” Maj. Jim Stenger, the spokesperson for Marine Corps headquarters, told Military.com.
Gen. Smith was at the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 29 in support of Marines and his senior enlisted counterpart, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Carlos Ruiz, who ran the race. It was the same day that he experienced the…