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Biden nominates Gen. Eric Smith to lead Marines

Marine Gen. Eric Smith, who President Joe Biden nominated to lead the branch on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marines.
Marine Gen. Eric Smith, who President Joe Biden nominated to lead the branch on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marines.

May 31 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden has nominated Gen. Eric Smith, currently the No. 2 commanding officer in the Marine Corps, to lead the military branch, according to information received by the Senate on Tuesday.

A veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and global terrorism, Smith's nomination was revealed in a Senate notice. The White House has not released a statement on the nomination as of Wednesday morning.

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Smith would replace Gen. David Berger as Marine commander if approved. He helped Berger in developing Force Design 2030, a strategy for future Marine service that has been met with some pushback.

That plan focuses more on the further development of drones and long-range missiles instead of howitzer artillery and tanks.

Currently serving as the 36th assistant commandant of the Marines, the Missouri and Texas native has commanded at every level of the military branch since his commission in 1987. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and in Venezuela as well as Afghanistan, according to his website biography.

If approved, he would become the newest face in Biden's changing military leadership. Last week, he nominated Gen. C.Q. Brown, who led to Air Force, to become his next chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing Gen. Mark Milley.

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Army Gen. Randy George has been nominated to take over for Gen. James McConville to lead that branch. With Brown's possible promotion, Biden will then have to name his replacement with the Air Force.

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