|Physician to the President|
July 25, 2013 – March 28, 2018
|Preceded by||Jeffrey Kuhlman|
|Succeeded by||Sean Conley (Acting)|
|Born||Ronny Lynn Jackson|
May 4, 1967
Levelland, Texas, U.S.
|Education||Texas A&M University (BS)|
University of Texas Medical Branch (MD)
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1995–present|
|Rank||Rear admiral (Lower half)|
|Awards||Defense Superior Service Medal|
Legion of Merit
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4)
Ronny Lynn Jackson (born May 4, 1967) is an American physician and a rear admiral in the United States Navy. Beginning in the White House Medical Unit in the mid-2000s, Jackson was appointed to the role of Physician to the President on July 25, 2013, by Barack Obama and was retained by Donald Trump after his inauguration in January 2017.
On March 28, 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Jackson to be United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs to succeed David Shulkin. On April 23, 2018, allegations were publicized against Jackson alleging misconduct and mismanagement during his service in the White House. The administration disputed the allegations. Concern was also expressed about Jackson's lack of management experience. On April 26, 2018, Jackson withdrew his nomination as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He returned to duty with the White House Medical Unit but will no longer serve as Physician to the President.
Jackson was born to Waymon and Norma Jackson and raised in the small town of Levelland, Texas. One of three children, Jackson has a brother Gary and a sister Stacy who still live and work in Levelland. He attended Texas A&M University graduating in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology. He went on to attend medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch, receiving his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1995.
Jackson is a board-certified diplomate of the American Board of Emergency Medicine and is designated as a fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. He currently holds faculty clinical appointments with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Harvard School of Medicine-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Disaster Medicine Fellowship Program.
Jackson began his active duty naval service in 1995 at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, where he completed his internship in transitional medicine in 1996. He went on to become the honor graduate of the Navy’s Undersea Medical Officer Program in Groton, Connecticut. Qualified in submarine and hyperbaric medicine, he subsequently took on operational assignments including: instructor at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Florida; detachment officer in charge and diving medical officer at Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 8 in Sigonella, Italy; and diving safety officer at the Naval Safety Center in Norfolk.
In 2001, Jackson returned to Portsmouth Naval Medical Center to begin his residency in emergency medicine, finishing at the top of his class and receiving the honor graduate designation. Upon completing his residency in 2004, he was assigned as clinical faculty in the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia. In 2005, he joined the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. From there he 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.
In 2006, while still in Iraq, Jackson was selected as a White House physician. Since arriving at the White House, he has directed the Executive Health Care for the President’s Cabinet and senior staff, served as physician supervisor for the Camp David Presidential Retreat, held the position of physician to the White House and led the White House Medical Unit as its director. He has served as White House physician during the past three administrations and was the appointed physician to the president for President Obama. In January 2017, Jackson made headlines after treating a girl who was bitten by Sunny, one of the Obamas' dogs. President Trump retained him as Physician to the President upon his inauguration in January 2017.
He was nominated to the rank of rear admiral (upper half) on March 23, 2018.
On March 28, 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he planned to replace David Shulkin with Ronny Jackson as secretary of Veterans Affairs. Some senators expressed skepticism of the nomination due to Jackson's lack of management experience.
On April 23, 2018, the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs postponed a hearing on his nomination after current and former employees on the White House medical staff accused Jackson of creating a hostile work environment, excessively drinking on the job, and improperly dispensing medication. Senator Jon Tester told CNN on April 24 that Jackson was known as "the candy man" inside the White House, according to around 20 people who brought these concerns to the Veterans' Affairs Senate Committee. He would allegedly hand out Ambien, Provigil, and other prescription drugs "like they were candy". CNN also reported that during an overseas trip in 2015, an intoxicated Jackson loudly knocked on the hotel room door of a female employee, so noisily that the United States Secret Service reportedly stopped him to prevent him potentially waking up then-President Barack Obama. President Trump responded during a news conference the next day, defending Jackson as "one of the finest people that I have met"; but also hinting that his nominee might drop out, while blaming Democrats for mounting an unfair attack on the admiral’s record. On April 27, 2018, the Secret Service reported that it had no records of any incidents involving Jackson having caused any commotions in hotels in 2015 when Secret Service personnel were guarding President Obama.
Jackson withdrew himself from consideration for the Secretary of Veterans' Affairs nomination on April 26, 2018, after the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs began formally investigating the allegations. Jackson insisted that the allegations were "completely false and fabricated" and said he was withdrawing because the controversy has become a distraction for Trump and his agenda. On April 29, Politico reported that Jackson will continue to work in the White House Medical Unit but will not be returning to his position as the President's personal physician, to be replaced by Navy officer Sean Conley, who took over the role a month earlier.
Jackson's family includes his wife, Jane, and children Ben, Elizabeth, and Matthew Jackson.
Jackson's decorations, awards, and badges include, among others:
|1st row||Defense Superior Service Medal||Legion of Merit|
|2nd row||Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ three 5⁄16" Gold Stars||Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal w/ two 5⁄16" Gold Stars||Joint Meritorious Unit Award||Navy Unit Commendation w/ one 3⁄16" bronze star|
|3rd row||Navy and Marine Corps Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ two 3⁄16" bronze stars||Navy Expionary Medal||National Defense Service Medal w/ one 3⁄16" bronze star||Kosovo Campaign Medal w/ one 3⁄16" bronze star|
|4th row||Iraq Campaign Medal with Fleet Marine Force Combat Operation Insignia||Global War on Terrorism Service Medal||Armed Forces Service Medal||Navy and Marine Corps Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ two 3⁄16" bronze stars|
|5th row||Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon w/ one 3⁄16" bronze star||NATO Medal for Yugoslavia Service w/ one 3⁄16" bronze star||Navy Expert Rifleman Medal||Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal|
|Badges||Fleet Marine Force insignia||Parachutist Badge|
|Badges||Navy Diving Medical Officer Badge||Presidential Service Badge|
BIDMC Fellowship in Disaster Medicine is a one-year program designed to provide qualified fellows the opportunity to develop an expertise in the related fields of Disaster Medicine (DM) and Emergency Management (EM).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ronny L. Jackson.|
| Physician to the President