White House nominates Smith to be next Marine Corps commandant

By Nick Wilson / May 31, 2023 at 11:10 AM

The White House has nominated Gen. Eric Smith, presently the assistant Marine Corps commandant, to take the reigns as the service's next top officer, according to a Tuesday notice from the Senate.

If confirmed, Smith would take over as the next Marine Corps Commandant, replacing Gen. David Berger who is set to retire this summer.

As the service’s assistant commandant, Smith has played a leading role in supporting Force Design 2030, the effort pioneered by Berger to modernize the Marine Corps and prepare the service for a future conflict in the Indo-Pacific.

Smith has spearheaded recruitment and retention efforts, advocated for the service’s need for 31 amphibious warships, and publicly defended decisions to divest from platforms like tanks in order to transform the service into a leaner, distributed and more mobile force.

Before beginning his tenure as assistant commandant in 2021, Smith led Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Marine Corps Forces Southern Command, 1st Marine Division and III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Although Smith’s nomination has yet to be announced by the Marine Corps or White House, the congressional notice states the nomination has been received by the Senate and has been referred to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

There, Smith will join over 200 other military nominations and promotions that have stalled in the Senate due to opposition by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), who is holding up Defense Department nominations over opposition to the Pentagon’s leave and travel reimbursement policies for servicemembers seeking abortion services.