Remember Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson? He was President Donald Trump's doctor who said the president had "great genes" and was later nominated to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, although he withdrew his nomination in April 2018 over allegations that he overprescribed certain drugs and created a hostile working environment.
Well, he's up for his second star while still being investigated by the Defense Department Inspector General's Office, officials said on Friday.
"In accordance with Article II Section 2 of the constitution, Rear Adm. Jackson was appointed by the Office of the President to his current rank of Rear Admiral (lower half/1-star) on Oct. 1, 2016," a Navy official told Task & Purpose on condition of anonymity.
"Although promotion boards are typically used to recommend officers for presidential appointment to the grade of rear admiral, the Constitution does not require that a board be used. In this case, the president made the appointment to rear admiral (lower half) without the use of a promotion board recommendation. The White House nominated him for rear admiral upper half (2-star) and re-submitted the nomination to the 116th Congress in Jan. 2019."
On Saturday, the White House announced that Jackson would serve as assistant to the president and chief medical advisor.
"The president had to re-nominate many individuals because the Senate did not take action during the last Congress, including on Admiral Jackson," an administration official told Task & Purpose on Saturday. "President Trump, like former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama view Dr. Jackson as a trustworthy medical advisor and excellent physician."
Jackson's nomination was sent over to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Jan. 15, though it has not moved any closer to a vote.
In June 2018, an inspector general's office spokesman confirmed to the Washington Post that it was looking into Jackson's conduct, but he declined to say at the time exactly what investigators were examining.
"The investigation is still ongoing," inspector general's office spokesan Bruce Anderson said on Friday, declining to provide any further details.
UPDATE: This story was updated on Feb. 3 with comments from an administration official.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."
U.S. troops patrol at an Afghan National Army (ANA) Base in Logar province, Afghanistan on August 7, 2018. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani/File Photo)
MUSCAT/KABUL (Reuters) - Even before any peace push-related drawdowns, the U.S. military is expected to trim troop levels in Afghanistan as part of an efficiency drive by the new commander, a U.S. general told Reuters on Friday, estimating the cuts may exceed 1,000 forces.
Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)
An Army investigator involved in the case of a Green Beret charged with murder has been suspended from his duties and charged with stolen valor, according to Dan Lamothe at The Washington Post.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark Delacruz, who has been a special agent with the Army's Criminal Investigation Command for more than four years, was charged with "unauthorized wear of a Purple Heart, Air Assault Badge, Pathfinder Badge and Combat Action Badge and is accused of submitting a package to an Army promotion board that stated he earned a Purple Heart when he did not," the Post wrote, citing a CID spokesman.