Marine Corps commandant hospitalized after 'medical emergency,' officials say

Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) -- Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Eric Smith was hospitalized after a "medical emergency" on Sunday evening, officials said on Monday.

Further details about Smith's health were not immediately released but the Marines said in a statement that they would share more "at a later time."

Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl, deputy commandant for combat development and integration, is carrying out the duties of leader of the service while Smith is out.

Smith was only recently sworn in, in late September, after his nomination was held up in the Senate by Alabama Republican Tommy Tuberville, who has been using a procedural move to block group approvals of military promotions, which is typically how they are handled.

Tuberville objects to the Pentagon's policy of reimbursing service members who travel for abortions, which he opposes.

His hold on military nominations has drawn bipartisan criticism, though he has said the Senate could simply choose to vote on individual appointments -- or reverse its policy.

In September, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer went around Tuberville by holding individual votes on Smith and two other military leaders, new Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Charles "CQ" Brown Jr. and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George.

However, Smith's No. 2 has not been confirmed, which is why Heckl is only able to carry out his duties but not serve as acting commandant.

Monday, October 30, 2023 at 5:05PM by Matt Seyler, ABC News Permalink