In 1859, with the passing of Commandant Archibald Henderson, the Marines operated without a permanent head of the organization.
After Marine Corps Commandant General David Berger’s relinquish-of-command ceremony on Monday and his private retirement ceremony, the U.S. Marine Corps finds itself, again, without a confirmed commander for the first time in 164 years.
Gen. Eric Smith, the Marine Corps’s assistant commandant, assumed the role of acting commandant during a ceremony held at the Marine Corps Barracks in Washington, D.C.
Smith will step into the role of acting commandant but will continue in his current position as assistant commandant.
In May, the commander-in-chief, Joe Biden, nominated Smith to head the service.
More than 250 expedited military promotions have been stalled in the Senate by Republican Alabama senator Tommy Tuberville over the Pentagon’s new abortion policy adopted in the wake of the Dobbs scandal.
Suppose the state in which a military member is stationed does not permit abortions. In that case, the Pentagon will now reimburse them for any expenses incurred getting to a state that does cover such procedures. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley have expressed concern about Tuberville’s detention as it pertains to national security.
Without naming Tuberville specifically, Austin said the delay was becoming a readiness problem and urged the Senate to approve the military officials in question.
Tuberville hasn’t changed his mind about his position. He’s been vocally opposed to this policy and has, according to him, no plans of changing his mind.
He said the onus of stopping this unconstitutional policy now rests with the government, not him. He said he would not let up until the Pentagon complies with the law or changes legislation.
In February, Tuberville put a hold on unanimously endorsing candidates.
Since February, there have been ten attempts to get unanimous Senate approval for all outstanding military appointments. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., might try to bypass Tuberville’s hold by filing cloture to end debate on each candidate and set up individual votes. However, the Senate is not likely to be able to vote on all nominations due to the large number of promotions that have accumulated this year (over 250 so far, with hundreds more coming).