By LOLITA C. BALDOR
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Marine Corps says Gen. Eric Smith, the commandant, has had open heart surgery and is expected to return to full duty as the service’s leader. Smith suffered cardiac arrest near his home at Marine Barracks Washington on Oct. 29, and was hospitalized. He had been confirmed as the new commandant on Sept. 21. The assistant commandant, Gen. Christopher Mahoney, has been serving as the acting head of the Marine Corps since Smith’s hospitalization. The Marines said Smith underwent successful surgery Monday to repair a bicuspid aortic valve in his heart, which was the cause of his cardiac arrest. No date for his return was given.