Dr. Ronny Jackson: 9 Things to Know About Trump’s VA Secretary Pick

Dr. Ronny Jackson: 9 Things to Know About Trump’s VA Secretary Pick


Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s new pick for Veterans Affairs Secretary, has been top physician at the White House since President Barack Obama in 2013.

Trump intends to nominate Jackson, 50, to replace David Shulkin, according to a presidential tweet Wednesday.  

I am pleased to announce that I intend to nominate highly respected Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, MD, as the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018

Jackson is probably best known for his January press conference where he gave Trump a clean bill of health, CBS News reported.

Here are nine things to know about Jackson.

1. Education — Jackson earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and is a decorated officer, according to CBS News.

2. Accompanies the president — As Trump’s physician, Jackson traveled with the president and oversaw the White House Medical Center, which provides medical assistance to the president and vice president.

3. Native Texan — Jackson grew up in Levelland, Texas, and graduated from Texas A&M University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology before moving on to attend medical school in his home state, according to his U.S. Navy biography.

4. Began medical career in 1995 — He started active duty naval service at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center in Virginia, where he completed an internship in transitional medicine. After his first year of residency, in 1996, he became the honor graduate of the Navy’s Undersea Medical Officer Program in Groton, Connecticut.

5. Camp Lejeune — After serving on the clinical faculty in the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia, he joined the 2nd Marines, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in 2005.

6. Iraq — Jackson was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the emergency medicine physician in charge of resuscitative medicine for a forward deployed Surgical Shock Trauma Platoon in Taqaddum, Iraq.

7. White House — Jackson acted as a White House physician in 2006 under President George W. Bush while still serving in Iraq. He directed the Executive Health Care for the President’s Cabinet and senior staff, and also served as physician supervisor for the Camp David Presidential Retreat.

8. Presidential promotion — Jackson was elevated to physician to the president for President Barack Obama and that role continued under Trump.

9. Decorated — Among Jackson’s awards during his service are the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), and three Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

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