General Eric Smith, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps

General Eric Smith

Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps

Eric M. Smith was born in 1964 in Kansas City, Missouri. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, during which he was a member of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, through which he entered the Marine Corps. He attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.  

He was a rifle platoon commander in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He served in the 1st Marine Division and had several deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also was deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. He served in the Pentagon as Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. Later, Smith participated in Operation Assured Response in Liberia. 

In 2021, he was promoted to four-star general and was assigned as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was confirmed to Commandant of the Marine Corps by the Senate in September 2023. 

In the News…

Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Eric Smith, issued an order that enhances restrictions on the use of personal portable electronic devices service-wide. Previously, USMC unit commanders were able to set their own policies.

General Smith’s order states, “The rapidly evolving market and proliferation of Personal Portable Electronic Devices (PPEDs) presents a significant risk to Marine Corps personnel both on and off duty, and to Marine Corps operations globally.

His ordered continued that the use of personal devices, such as phones, smart watches, Bluetooth headsets, laptops, tablets, and digital cameras, “can reduce situational awareness, compromise privacy, and threaten operations security.”

General Smith’s order continued, “Failure to recognize the risks PPEDs pose to the success of this mission is unacceptable, and a failure to maintain and enforce a PPED policy directly risks mission accomplishment.“


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