Home » Budget Industry » Trump Nominates Current White House Physician, Navy Admiral as Next Veterans Affairs Secretary

Trump Nominates Current White House Physician, Navy Admiral as Next Veterans Affairs Secretary

Rear Adm. Ronny L. Jackson. US Navy Photo

President Trump has nominated an active duty Navy admiral and the current White House physician Rear Adm. Ronny L. Jackson to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the president announced in a Tweet on Wednesday.

Jackson would replace outgoing VA secretary David Shulkin who has been embroiled in a controversy over improperly accepting tickets and using staff to arrange travel in Europe.

A VA inspector general investigation sparked interest groups to call for his removal from the post, according to a report in Politico.

Robert Wilkie, undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, will serve as VA secretary in the interim.

Jackson is a 1992 Texas A&M graduate and has served in the Navy since 1995. He’s served with Navy dive and submarine units as well as an emergency medicine doctor in Iraq. In 2006 he was tapped to serve 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 Barack Obama. He currently serves as the appointed physician to the president for President Donald J. Trump,” according to his Navy biography.

  • JohnByron

    This will not end well. Jackson has no chops as an administrator and the guy who appointed him taints everyone who works for him.

    • Bubblehead

      Quite frankly, you cannot do much worse. The VA is a disaster and veterans deserve better. If it were up to me, I would abolish the VA and allow vets to use public hospitals. The VA system is a bureaucratic mess designed to give away jobs, with little thought to the Vet.

      The VA almost killed me and I hope I never have to use a VA hospital again.

      • Kenneth Millstein

        That’s some really sad news for the rest of us.

      • hrcint

        Bubblehead: My same experience. Pull the life support from the VA!

      • thebard3

        It’s become just another dysfunctional government bureaucracy.

        • wilkinak

          Nope, it is THE dysfunctional government bureaucracy. It sets the standard for dysfunctional bureaucracies.

      • Mr. Speaker

        Been using the VA for 15 years and have had quite the opposite experience.

      • PolicyWonk

        Which one did you use? The local one here is top notch, and loaded with dedicated people…

        • wilkinak

          The one in Wash DC is almost literately a s h i t h o l e. Reeked of urine. I get letters all the time suggesting that I get tested for hep C or something if I was dumb enough to have anything remotely invasive done. (I pay for insurance through work instead; never got one of those letters from a civilian hospital or clinic)

          Shulkin did manage to fire the administrator, but it took 3 or 4 tries to make it stick. The lazy janitor is probably still there.

          • PolicyWonk

            Sorry you had to deal with that. Here in the Cradle of Democracy (MA), we have a top-notch VA facility in West Roxbury.

            Some of the facilities seem really good, while others are run by clowns that still use rattles, grass skirts, incense, and incantations – if/when you can get an appointment.

            A competent administrator would not tolerate the kind of environment you describe.

      • Fred Gould

        My late father-in-law and several of my neighbors are grateful for the VA. Far better care than the civilian hospitals.

    • Rocco


  • marc6850

    Rear Admiral Jackson will do an excellent job at the VA.

    • Mr. Speaker

      Based on???

    • Rocco

      Time will tell as in all !!

    • wilkinak

      I wish him luck, but this agency makes a failure out of everyone who touches it. He was probably the only one who would take the job.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Until serious, major reform is implemented as far as Civil Service employment rules, nothing positive will happen. I’m talking about being able to remove incompetents among the rank-and-file in government positions. The money and resources that costs is staggering across the government.

  • On Dre

    I’ve been reading this site for a few years. Enough to know that if Obama appointed this guy for the VA post their would have been HOWLLING and BITCHING and CRYING for days on end.
    I think we all know what the difference is now.

    • Jay

      White Bread. It’s what’s for dinner in America now.

    • tiger

      Because Obama`s VA choice already proved to have been a major fail.

  • omegatalon

    While he may not have experience as an administrator, this is a Flag officer as you don’t rise to Admiral without knowing how to lead and being an officer and doctor, he knows what a serviceman is looking for when they go to VA hospital.

    • JohnByron

      Hogwash. He’s a society doctor … and I’ve known a few flags who might not be held up as models for much of anything. Both AP and WaPo have pieces up today cataloging this guy’s total lack of management and administrative experience. Sad to see the failure ahead of someone who’s probably a good guy. This will not end well.

    • Mr. Speaker

      LOL……. McClellan was a General but one of the most incompetent leaders in U.S. military history.
      Don’t put so much value into the doodads listed after peoples names.

    • wilkinak

      There’s been several generals who served as VA chief who failed dismally.

      My experience with Navy medicine resulted in a moderate injuries becoming a lifelong pain generators.

      Most admirals are pretty adept at snorkeling the brass.