Navy Demoted Ronny Jackson After Probe into White House Behavior

Rep. Ronny Jackson was quietly demoted by the Navy in July 2022

Former White House physician Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) was quietly demoted by the Navy in July 2022 after a Pentagon inspector general’s report substantiated allegations of “inappropriate conduct” and bullying of staff, according to The Washington Post. 

Citing a current defense official and a former U.S. official, the Post reports that the previously unreported demotion lowered Jackson to the rank of captain instead of rear admiral. However, he still describes himself as a retired “rear admiral” on his congressional website, and is publicly referred to as such by his Republican allies, including Donald Trump. Jackson has not yet commented on the demotion. 

A Navy spokesperson was quoted saying the “substantiated allegations” against Jackson—bullying subordinates, “fostering a negative work environment,” and using alcohol inappropriately—“are not in keeping with the standards the Navy requires of its leaders and, as such, the Secretary of the Navy took administrative action in July 2022.”


For an officer who served 24 years like Jackson, there is more than a $15,000 difference in annual pension payouts between a retired one-star admiral, the rank that Jackson held when he retired from the Navy in December 2019, and a retired captain, according to an estimate by Katherine L. Kuzminski, a military policy expert at Center for a New American Security. That payout gap is likely to widen over time as the military periodically increases its pay rates for each position.

Kuzminski also said that it was inappropriate for Jackson to describe himself as a retired rear admiral. “While it is possible that others will mistakenly refer to him as ‘Admiral’ in perpetuity, he himself should not make that mistake,” she said.

“If I had retired and not gotten into politics, this investigation would have never gone anywhere,” Jackson writes. “This was happening because I am a perceived threat to the Biden administration and because a few political appointees in the Department of Defense want to make a name for themselves.”


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