|Commandant of the Marine Corps|
|United States Marine Corps|
Headquarters Marine Corps
|Member of||Joint Chiefs of Staff|
|Reports to||Secretary of Defense|
Secretary of the Navy
|Residence||Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.|
|Seat||The Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.|
with Senate advice and consent
|Term length||4 years|
Renewable one time, only during war or national emergency
|Constituting instrument||10 U.S.C. § 8043|
|Formation||10 November 1775de facto,|
12 July 1798de jure
|First holder||Samuel Nicholas|
|Deputy||Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps|
The commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) is normally the highest-ranking officer in the United States Marine Corps. It is a four-star general position and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The CMC reports directly to the secretary of the Navy and is responsible for ensuring the organization, policy, plans, and programs for the Marine Corps as well as advising the president, the secretary of defense, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and the secretary of the Navy on matters involving the Marine Corps. Under the authority of the secretary of the Navy, the CMC designates Marine personnel and resources to the commanders of unified combatant commands. The commandant performs all other functions prescribed in Section 8043 in Title 10 of the United States Code or delegates those duties and responsibilities to other officers in his administration in his name. As with the other joint chiefs, the commandant is an administrative position and has no operational command authority over United States Marine Corps forces.
The commandant is nominated for appointment by the president, for a four-year term of office, and must be confirmed by the Senate. The commandant can be reappointed to serve one additional term, but only during times of war or national emergency declared by Congress. By statute, the commandant is appointed as a four-star general while serving in office. "The commandant is directly responsible to the Secretary of the Navy for the total performance of the Marine Corps. This includes the administration, discipline, internal organization, training, requirements, efficiency, and readiness of the service. The Commandant is also responsible for the operation of the Marine Corps material support system." Since 1806, the official residence of the commandant has been located in the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C., and his main offices are in Arlington County, Virginia.
The 39th and current commandant is General Eric M. Smith; due to a heart attack, assistant commandant Christopher J. Mahoney is currently performing Smith's duties as commandant.