I served with Dr. Ronny Jackson for ten plus years while he proudly and effectively ensure the health and welfare of three U.S. Presidents, their families and key White House personnel.
As the Secret Service Special Agent in Charge of the president and the White House, it was my duty to maintain the safety and security of the president at all times. I depended on Dr. Jackson to maintain a world-class, second-to-none, medical environment for the first family’s use, no matter the time of day or their location in the world. This included a well-managed, efficient and effective medical facility at the White House that was capable of difficult medical procedures and constantly prepared for the unexpected. This also included putting together very complex medical contingency plans for when the president or first family traveled outside the White House.
His job required the ability to lead a team tasked with evaluating hospitals and medical providers around the world to ensure that all medical contingencies were available. He also provided guidance to the diverse group of professionals running those facilities, which is no simple task. Whether we were in a remote or rural location, in transit or overseas in a country that did not always want to cooperate, Dr. Jackson diplomatically worked through the challenges presented and always had the full confidence of every member of the Presidential Protection Division.
His leadership was critical to our ability to do our job, protecting the president.
Though Dr. Jackson’s service to the president often carries the highest profile, his ability to attract top talent to the White House Medical Unit and the manner in which he was able to empower his team to work with and lead others was critical to our collaboration. Relying on his years of experience making real-time medical decisions in combat zones, Dr. Jackson always demonstrated calm, effective leadership when working with the president’s Secret Service team. Whether in a training situation or while on duty, his ability to assess a situation, consult his team and quickly execute a strategic plan is the reason he successfully rose to the rank of rear admiral in the Navy.
Dr. Jackson is one of the most professional, committed and dedicated men I have had the honor of serving with in my 28 year career. He is mission oriented and cares deeply for those he serves. He has the highest respect for veterans and active duty military members and will serve the Department of Veterans Affairs with distinction. Dr. Jackson exhibits true vision, leadership and inspiration on many levels, not only in the administration and practice of medicine, but in his management of staff and his ability to inspire and command a team.
Veterans deserve Dr. Jackson. While multiple presidents have personally had the benefit of Dr. Jackson’s services for many years, it is time now for Dr. Jackson to be allowed to provide the same level of care for veterans that he has provided to the leaders of our country. He is exceptionally qualified to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs with the highest moral and ethical standards, and his confirmation will greatly benefit our country.
I look forward to seeing him confirmed as the next secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Mike White is a former Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service Presidential Protection Division.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.