U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Ronny L. Jackson became physician to the president in 2013, when he was appointed by President Barack Obama. It’s a position that has been around since George Washington became president, but it did not become official until Congress created the title in 1928.
Jackson is the 18th person to hold the position, which is now part of the White House Military Office. His medical experience includes an overseas stint in Iraq, and he is qualified in submarine and hyperbaric medicine.
The 50-year-old was born and raised in Levelland, Texas, located in the western part of the state near the New Mexico border. He graduated from Texas A&M University at Galveston in 1991 with a bachelor of science degree in marine biology, according to his biography. He attended medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where he graduated in 1995 with a Doctor of Medicine degree.
Jackson then completed his internship at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center in Virginia and began active duty naval service in 1995. He returned to Portsmouth in 2001 to begin his residency in emergency medicine. He completed his residency in 2004, finishing at the top of his class.
In 2005 he joined the 2nd Marines, Combat Logistics Regiment 25 at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. He was then deployed to Iraq, where he served during Operation Iraqi Freedom as an emergency medicine physician based out of Taqaddum, Iraq.
While still serving in Iraq, Jackson was appointed a White House physician, serving on the staff of Air Force Brig. Gen. Richard Tubb. He was named the physician to the president in July 2013 and was retained when Donald Trump was elected president. That is an unusual step; typically, an incoming president selects a new physician to man the post.
In addition to Iraq, Jackson also has served in Norfolk, Virginia; Panama City, Florida; Pearl Harbor; and Sigonella, Italy.
Jackson has been awarded the Legion of Merit award and is a four-time winner of the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal. He has earned three Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals and also was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal.
Jackson married Jane E. Annable in Galveston on Jan. 30, 1993. They now live in Silver Spring, Maryland, and have three children: Libby, Ben and Matthew.
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