A Camp Pendleton two-star general whose campaign against Marine hazing apparently went overboard is leaving California with a higher rank.
Maj. Gen. Eric M. Smith has been nominated for appointment to the three-star rank of lieutenant general, said Secretary of Defense James Mattis in a statement Tuesday.
Smith has been assigned as commanding general, III Marine Expeditionary Force, and commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Japan.
Smith has served as commanding general, 1st Marine Division, San Diego, since June 2017.
A change of command is scheduled for July 5, according to a Marine spokesman. The new commander’s name hasn’t been announced.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, a military court “upbraided” Smith for unlawfully meddling in a court-martial case against a non-commissioned officer accused of abusing his troops.
In February, the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals in Washington found that Smith went too far in his crackdown against hazing throughout 1st Marine Division by committing unlawful command influence.
Also Tuesday, Mattis announced the nomination of Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Lewis A. Craparotta for assignment as commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific; and commanding general, Fleet Marine Corps Forces Pacific.
Craparotta — Smith’s boss — now serves as commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Pendleton.
It was not immediately known who would take over for Craparotta.