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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Former A&M student receives presidential nomination to lead the Marine Corps

Dedicated+Aggie+and+Class+of+1987+graduate%2C+Gen.+Eric+Smith%2C+was+nominated+by+President+Biden+to+serve+as+the+next+highest-ranking+officer+of+the+U.S.+Marine+Corps.%26%23160%3B
Photo courtesy of Staff Sgt. John Martinez/U.S. Department of Defense Media

Dedicated Aggie and Class of 1987 graduate, Gen. Eric Smith, was nominated by President Biden to serve as the next highest-ranking officer of the U.S. Marine Corps.

 

Four-star Gen. Eric Smith, Class of 1987, was recently nominated on May 31 by President Biden to serve as the next commandant of the Marine Corps.

Since October 2021, Smith has served as the assistant commandant, the second-highest ranking position in the Marine Corps. Smith was the 10th Aggie to ever earn a four-star ranking in the military, according to the Texas A&M Foundation.

If the Senate confirms Smith’s nomination, Smith will become the Marine Corps’ 39th commandant, commanding the branch’s active duty and reserve personnel, totaling over 200,000 Marines. Additionally, he would serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, helping ensure the readiness of the entire U.S. military.

While at Texas A&M, Smith was a leader in the Corps of Cadets. He served as commander of the Fightin’ Aggie Texas Band and a member of the Ross Volunteer Company, according to Texas A&M Today. Upon graduating with his political science degree, Smith was commissioned into the Marines through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, or NROTC, program.

In the early 2000s, Smith returned to Texas A&M to teach for a tour, serving as a Marine office instructor.

“The older I get, the more I appreciate what I learned at Texas A&M and in the Aggie Band,” Smith said to the Texas A&M Foundation, reflecting on his time at A&M. “The university and Bryan-College Station are fundamentally good, and as someone who has been to some of the worst places on the planet, I can truly say [A&M] is irreplicable.”

Serving over 36 years, Smith has garnered extensive leadership experience from multiple previously-held positions, overseas deployments, tours and missions, commanding at every level during the Gulf War, Iraq War and the war in Afghanistan. According to his Marine Corps biography, Smith led Marines during Operation Assured Response, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Smith has also commanded the USMC Forces Southern Command, 1st Marine Division, III Expeditionary Force and the Marine Corps Combat Development Command.

For his service, Smith holds a number of accolades, including two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, a Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals and a Purple Heart.
The Senate will examine Smith’s nomination to serve as the next USMC commandant on Tuesday, June 13.

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About the Contributor
Ana Renfroe
Ana Renfroe, Head News Editor
Ana Renfroe, Class of 2025, is a journalism junior with a minor in professional writing from Bryan, Texas. Ana has served as The Battalion's head news editor from May 2023 to May 2024. Previously, she was the assistant news editor for the spring 2023 semester. Ana has covered breaking news, politics, and more. She typically covered the Texas A&M System and university administration, Texas and Bryan-College Station politics, student government and more. Ana previously hosted and produced episodes of The Batt Signal, The Battalion's news podcast. Additionally, she was a copyeditor and feature writer for Maroon Life magazine, and helped contribute to the Aggieland Yearbook.
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