HomeReportsAll DoD OIG Reports
NEWS | March 3, 2021

Report Of Investigation: Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Ronny Lynn Jackson, M.D. U.S. Navy, Retired (DODIG-2021-057)

Administrative Investigations

The DoD Hotline received 12 complaints from April 26, 2018, through June 7, 2018. The complaints and additional allegations raised by witnesses generally alleged that RDML Jackson, while serving as Director, White House Medical Unit (WHMU), a DoD unit tasked with providing medical support to the White House, and, while serving as Physician to the President:

  • failed to foster and maintain a healthy command climate in the WHMU, and failed to treat DoD subordinates with dignity and respect;
     
  • engaged in alcohol-related misconduct, including wrecking a government vehicle while intoxicated;
     
  • expected rum or other alcohol to be stocked in his lodging room while on official travel, or caused staff members to fear retribution if they did not comply with the expectation; and
     
  • misused Ambien for his personal use.

We concluded that RDML Jackson’s overall course of conduct toward subordinates disparaged, belittled, bullied, and humiliated them, and fostered a negative work environment by failing to treat subordinates with dignity and respect. We also concluded that RDML Jackson failed to conduct himself in an exemplary manner in his treatment of subordinates throughout his tenure at WHMU. His treatment of subordinates created a negative work environment that witnesses said made an unfavorable impact on the overall command climate.

We concluded that RDML Jackson engaged in inappropriate conduct involving the use of alcohol during two incidents. Both incidents occurred during presidential trips while RDML Jackson was in charge of providing medical care and treatment to U.S. Government officials— a trip to Manila, Philippines, in April 2014 and a trip to Bariloche, Argentina, in March 2016.

We found no evidence to support the allegation that RDML Jackson expected rum or other alcohol to be stocked in his lodging room while on official travel, or that staff members feared retribution if they did not comply with the expectation.

We found no evidence to support the allegation that RDML Jackson “got drunk and wrecked a government vehicle.”

We concluded that RDML Jackson used Ambien during long official overseas flights. We are not aware of any specific WHMO prohibitions against the use of Ambien during long official overseas flights. While the WHMO policy memorandum required RDML Jackson to notify his supervisor in advance of taking Ambien, we did not ascertain if he provided such a notification. However, the witnesses, all of whom were WHMU medical personnel, raised concerns about RDML Jackson’s potential incapacity to provide proper medical care during such flights while using Ambien because of the common side effects described in the section of this report titled, “RDML Jackson’s Use of Ambien.”