A day after he was confirmed as assistant commandant by the Senate, the No. 2 officer in the Marine Corps donned four stars Friday to fill in as the service's top leader remained hospitalized from cardiac arrest.
Christopher Mahoney was promoted to general and sworn in as assistant commandant Friday morning by Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro at a small ceremony in the Pentagon, according to a Marine Corps press release.
Mahoney will be “performing the duties of commandant” after Gen. Eric Smith, who was in stable condition earlier this week, according to the Marine Corps, collapsed near Marine Barracks Washington on Sunday evening and received CPR from emergency services.
The Marine Corps on Friday said that Smith was making “excellent progress following sudden cardiac arrest earlier this week.”
“Once he is discharged from the hospital, he will continue his recovery at his military quarters, but will need to focus on his health prior to fully returning to duty,” the statement said.
Mahoney's confirmation and promotion comes as the Marine Corps weathers the crisis caused by Smith's sudden incapacitation — and a Senate blockade on confirmations that left the assistant commandant job vacant for months and forced Smith to fill the service's two top jobs before he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.
“Gen. Smith is…