Nicknames, especially in the military, are a cherished tradition. But they’re also an art form: they’re usually ironic, or have a hilarious (and often) self-deprecating story attached to them. And the prospective chief for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, is no exception.
A recent Washington Post profile of the White House physician got the scoop on how Jackson, a career Navy officer and distinguished surgeon who’s stitched up bodies from Iraq to Washington, earned his own nickname with a little help from President George W. Bush:
One trait universally cited is Jackson’s storytelling ability. He has regaled colleagues with one particular tale about administering stitches on an intimate part of his body. He even recounted it for Bush after cutting himself with a hoe at the president’s ranch in Texas.
As he prepared to stitch up his leg, Bush protested. “It’s okay, I’ve sewn myself up before,” Jackson replied, then told the president about his earlier injury, according to people familiar with the episode. That earned him an admiring nickname from Bush: Scrote.
There you have it: Our prospective Veterans Affairs secretary, who will appear before the Senate for his confirmation hearing on April 25, is nicknamed after the bag of skin containing a set of (hopefully brass) balls.
I’m not even mad, I’m impressed! And besides, it could have been worse for Jackson: his nickname could’ve been Rub One.