Five Things to Know About Ronny Jackson, Trump's Personal Physician and Veterans Affairs Secretary Nominee

White House officials said Wednesday evening that Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin will resign and that President Donald Trump will nominate his personal physician, Ronny Jackson to succeed him.

Jackson, a United States Navy admiral, was first hired as physician to the president by President Barack Obama in 2013 and was retained by Trump. The doctor is well-known for defending the 71-year old president's health during an hour-long press conference in January.

"I am pleased to announce that I intend to nominate highly respected Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, MD, as the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs," Trump wrote on Twitter. "In the interim, Hon. Robert Wilkie of DOD will serve as Acting Secretary. I am thankful for Dr. David Shulkin's service to our country and to our GREAT VETERANS!"

I am pleased to announce that I intend to nominate highly respected Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, MD, as the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018

He's a battle-tested doctor

Jackson has a long history of combat medicine.

The doctor began his career with the Navy in 1995 at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, where he completed his internship and went on to graduate with honors at the Navy's Undersea Medical Officer Program.

With a focus on submarine medicine, Jackson practiced at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Florida, with an explosives unit in Italy and was placed in charge of diving safety in Norfolk before returning to the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center to focus on emergency medicine.

He was deployed to Iraq to work with the Surgical Shock Trauma Platoon and, in 2006, was picked to be a White House physician and sent back to the U.S.

He's served three presidents

Jackson worked under President George W. Bush as a White House physician and was promoted to physician to the president by President Barack Obama. Trump opted to keep him onboard when he entered office in 2016.

Brigadier General Richard Tubb, who served as the physician to President George W. Bush issued a statement praising Jackson's history in the White House this January. "I hired and trained Rear Admiral Dr. Ronny Jackson. My patients, President and Mrs. Bush, knew and trusted him. I think it's safe to assume that President and Mr. Obama trusted him as well," Tubb said. "After all, they personally selected him to be their physician."

He's proved his loyalty to Trump

Jackson has said he sees Trump nearly every day and maintains a professional and personal relationship with the president.

Reports also indicate that Trump was pleased with Jackson for giving a nearly hour-long press conference defending the president's health after his first official physical in January. Jackson squashed rumors that the president was in poor health, telling reporters that "It's called genetics," and that "some people have just great genes."

"I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years he might live to be 200 years old," Jackson said.

He's up for a promotion

The Pentagon announced last Friday that Trump had nominated Jackson to be promoted to the military position of rear admiral (upper half) from his current position of rear admiral (lower half). The promotion comes with a pay increase and a second star.

Jackson's medical skills enjoy bipartisan support

Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to Obama tweeted his support for the doctor after Trump's physical. "Dr. Jackson is a phenomenal doctor and a really great guy," he wrote.

Alyssa Mastromonaco, White House deputy chief of staff under the Obama also tweeted her support. "There is no one better than Ronny. No one. He is a saint and patriot," she wrote.

there is no one better than ronny. no one. he is a saint and patriot.

— alyssa GrudgePAC mastromonaco 🤶🏻 (@AlyssaMastro44) January 16, 2018