Breitbart News has confirmed the biographical claim of E. W. Jackson, who won the Republican Party’s nomination for Lieutenant Governor on Saturday and is only the second African-American to be nominated for a statewide office by the Republican Party in Virginia since Reconstruction, that he served in the Marine Corps.
All of Mr. Jackson’s official biographies state that he served for three years in the United States Marine Corps. In fact, the very first line on his campaign website’s biography states “E.W. Jackson served three years and was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps.”
Breitbart News has obtained a copy from the Jackson campaign of Mr. Jackson’s separation from service papers, Form DD 214. That form shows that Mr. Jackson enlisted in the Marines as a private in August, 1970 for a four year term. His job specialty (Military Occupation Specialty, or MOS) was number 5961 – AvnFC Tech. The related civilian occupation is communications engineer. He received on honorable discharge in February, 1973, two and a half years later. His rank on separation was corporal, and his release was for medical purposes–he injured his back during a training exercise.
While in the service, Mr. Jackson was awarded the National Defense Service Medal.
When Mr. Jackson ran for the Senate in 2012, his campaign was unable to find photographic evidence of his service as a Marine. Campaign manager Greg Aldridge told Breitbart News “We looked for any pictures of him in a Marine uniform when he ran for Senate in 2012, but we couldn’t find any.”
Aldridge provided Breitbart News with these additional facts of Mr. Jackson’s service in the Marine Corps: he completed basic training at Paris Island, South Carolina, and though he was in service during the Viet Nam era, he did not serve in Viet Nam.
On Wednesday, Breitbart News confirmed this information with Marine Corps Public Affairs Officer Major Shawn Haney. “The following releasable information is provided from the Official Military Personnel File of Earl W. Jackson: Dates of Service: Aug 4, 1970 – Feb 21, 1973, Rank at time of discharge: Corporal (E-4), Military Occupational Specialty: 5961, Aircraft Technician, Awards: National Defense Service Medal.”
Mr. Jackson’s spell binding oratory has garnered enthusiastic grassroots support for his candidacy from evangelical Christians and Tea Party activists alike. He and his supporters took the Richmond convention where he became the party’s standard bearer for Lieutenant Governor by storm on Saturday.
Yet in the midst of this stunning upset win questions about his background linger. In preparation for an in depth profile of Mr. Jackson, Breitbart News has begun a preliminary inquiry into his academic record, military service, and financial history.
The November 2013 general election for Governor in Virginia is being closely watched around the country as a potential harbinger for the 2014 Congressional Elections. On Saturday, the Republican Party of Virginia nominated Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as their candidate for Governor, Jackson as their candidate for Lieutenant Governor, and Mark Obenshain as their candidate for Attorney General.
The Democrats will select their nominees in a June primary. Former Clinton administration fundraiser Terry McAuliffe is favored to win the nomination for Governor.