Major General Jackson is married to the former Susan Gail Steinbach of Lafayette, Calif. They reside in Fallbrook and have two sons: Brian and Blaine Jackson.
Most recently, he served as the director of California State Parks and Recreation from November 2012 through June 2014. Previously, he retired from the United States Marine Corps on January 1, 2012 after more than 36 years of service.
Major General earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from San Jose State University. In May 2011, he was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters (H.C.) from the Trustees of the California State University and San Jose State University.
His education includes attending The Basic School, Quantico, VA; Amphibious Warfare School and Marine Corps Command and Staff College (via correspondence); The Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA; The Army War College, Carlisle, PA; National Defense University, Capstone, Washington, D.C.;and the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in National Security, Harvard, MA.
During his Marine Corps career, primarily serving as an infantry officer, he had the privilege of command at every rank from Second Lieutenant to Major General. As an infantry officer, he commanded from platoon to regiment size organizations. As a staff officer he generally worked in operations duties from infantry battalion to the Pentagon, where he was a Senior Emergency Action Officer in the National Military Command Center. As Chief of Staff, Third Marine Division, from 2002 to 2003, he served concurrently as Chief of Staff, Joint Task Force 555 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Philippines. As the G-5, Plans Officer, First Marine Expeditionary Force, he deployed to Iraq for Operation Enduring Freedom II in March 2004.
His first assignment as a General Officer was as Deputy Commander for Marine Forces Central Command. He served in that assignment from 2005 to 2007 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan and Operation Enduring Freedom, Horn of Africa. His next assignment was as the first Director of Operations (J-3) and Logistics (J-4), U.S. Africa Command. He served in that capacity from September 2007 to August 2009. In that assignment, he continued to support Operation Enduring Freedom, Horn of Africa and Operation Enduring Freedom, Transahel. His last assignment prior to retiring was Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations-West. In that capacity, he oversaw the operation of six Marine Corps Bases and Stations in California and Arizona.
He has published articles and reviews, and made speeches on many important topics, most recently on California parks as a state and national treasure and energy conservation as a national security concern, but his most prized publication was an article in the Marine Corps Gazette, in September 1994, titled “Minority Officers in the Marine Corps: A Perspective.” The article helped continue the Marine Corps’ progress toward successfully handling diversity.
His personal decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (w/two gold stars in lieu of second and third award, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (w/ two gold stars) the Navy Commendation Medal (w/ one gold star), the Navy Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (w/ two gold stars),Iraqi Campaign Medal (w/ two bronze stars), the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (w/ silver and bronze star), Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon (w/ bronze star), and the Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon.