Marine Corps Gen. Smith Recovering Following Open Heart Surgery

January 8, 2024 9:52 PM
Marine Corps Gen. Eric Smith on Sept. 12, 2023. US Marine Corps

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Eric Smith had open heart surgery on Monday to repair a heart defect, the Marine Corps announced.

Smith had a bicuspid aortic valve, a congenital heart defect in which the aortic valve has two cusps – the flaps that help control blood flow direction – instead of the normal three. Smith discovered he had a bicuspid valve after experiencing cardiac arrest on Oct. 28.

Smith is in good condition and recovering at an unnamed hospital, according to the Marine Corps. Once he recovers, Smith plans to resume his duties as commandant.

“General Smith and his family are focused on his rehabilitation and appreciate everyone’s continued respect for their privacy ahead of his full recovery,” reads a statement from the service.

Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Christopher Mahoney is currently performing the duties of the commandant while Smith recovers.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
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