(RepublicanJournal.org) – The United States Marine Corps’ most senior officer is in hospital — and Democrats are blaming a Republican senator. They’re saying General Eric Smith could have been overwhelmed by having to hold down two jobs at once. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) is currently blocking military promotions.
On October 29, General Smith, the Acting Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Corps’s representative on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was hospitalized after apparently suffering a heart attack while running. Smith, a 58-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri, who was commissioned into the Corps in 1987 and served in both Iraq wars, has been serving as Assistant Commandant since 2021; this May he was nominated to move up to Commandant on the retirement of General David Berger.
Unfortunately for Smith, that’s where Senator Tuberville comes in. Since February, Tuberville has been blocking any attempt by the Senate to confirm senior military appointments. The USMC, as well as the US Army and US Navy, were all left for months with acting appointees in the top jobs. Tuberville is objecting to Defense Department policy on female service personnel seeking abortions, which he’s calling an “illegal expansion of DoD authority,” and has vowed to continue blocking promotions until it’s changed. The problem is that with the Senate unable to confirm appointments, many senior officers are being left wearing two or more hats. Now Democrats are claiming that’s piling stress on them — and could have been responsible for General Smith’s heart attack.
On September 20, the Senate managed to work around Tuberville’s block and confirm the appointments of Smith, the Chief of Staff of the Army, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, but the USMC still doesn’t have an Assistant Commandant. In the military, commanders decide on goals and general policy, while their assistants handle the details. Smith has been doing it all himself for months, and it might have been too much for him.
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