Gen. Eric Smith nominated as next Marine Corps commandant
Stars and Stripes May 31, 2023
WASHINGTON — Gen. Eric Smith, the No. 2 officer in the Marine Corps, has been officially nominated as the next commandant of the service when Gen. David Berger retires in a few weeks, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.
It was widely expected President Joe Biden would nominate Smith for the position of Marine Corps commandant, the highest-ranking officer in the service and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A 36-year veteran in the Marine Corps, Smith is the assistant commandant behind Berger, who will retire in July after holding numerous commands in his 42 years in the service. He’s been Marine Corps commandant since 2019.
Smith, 58, joined the Marines in 1987 after he graduated from Texas A&M University and has held many commands, including the 2nd Marine Regiment in Liberia, the 5th Marine Regiment during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Regimental Combat Team 8 during Operation Enduring Freedom.
Smith was promoted to a four-star general and the position of assistant commandant in July 2021. To succeed Berger as commandant, he will need confirmation from the Senate.
Since the 1940s, all Marine Corps commandants have been appointed by the president to a single four-year term and the officer in the role is subordinate only to the secretary of the Navy. The commandant is chiefly responsible for organizational, policy and planning matters in the service and regularly serves as an adviser to the president, secretary of defense, National Security Council and Homeland Security Council.
Other roles that Smith has held in the Corps include deputy commandant for combat development and integration, senior military assistant to the defense secretary and commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force.