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Marine Corps Commandant Gen Eric Smith recently underwent open heart surgery to address a defective heart valve, as announced by the Marine Corps.

The surgery, conducted at an undisclosed hospital, was to repair a bicuspid aortic valve, the underlying cause of his heart attack on October 29. The Marine Corps said, “He is in good condition and continues to recover at the hospital among family members and his doctors. Following his rehabilitation, Gen. Smith will return to full duty status as Commandant.”


This comes after General Smith experienced a heart attack in October during a run, leading to the discovery of his congenital bicuspid aortic valve condition, which can cause cardiac issues later in life. In his absence, Marine Corps Assistant Commandant Gen. Christopher Mahoney has assumed Smith’s responsibilities.

This news about General Smith’s health and recovery emerges amid broader concerns regarding transparency in the health disclosures of high-ranking military officials. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has recently faced criticism for not publicly disclosing an elective medical procedure he underwent, followed by a hospitalization that started on January 1 and was not immediately communicated to senior administration officials.


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