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Gen. Eric Smith has been reinstated as the commandant of the Marine Corps after collapsing from a heart attack four months ago and subsequently undergoing open-heart surgery.

His return was officially announced in a Marine Corps press release, which highlighted the end of Gen. Christopher Mahoney’s tenure as the acting commandant since November. Smith had faced a congenital heart defect, which led to his surgery in January, and had expressed his intention to resume his duties as commandant following his recovery.

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The journey back to his post was secret, with Smith making several unannounced visits to the Pentagon in the past month as part of his preparation to return to full duty. In a statement, a spokesman for the Marines said, “Gen. Smith and his family appreciate the full support of Congress; the leadership at the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, the Joint Force; and all who extended them their well wishes during his recovery.”


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