Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC
Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations West
San José State Alumnus
Although I’ve been in the Marine Corps for over 35 years, I didn’t attend college with the intent of serving in the military. However, I did grow up in a military family. My father was a career enlisted man in the Army and a veteran of World War II and Korea, and my older brother is a Vietnam veteran. A key lesson I absorbed as I grew up was about the value of service.
It’s important to remember that we can all serve something more than ourselves, and in doing so make our communities stronger. I serve our nation as a Marine, but I also serve our Marines by ensuring they can train for their assigned mission, and that their families are cared for before, during, and after deployments.
The Marine Corps motto is Semper Fidelis, Latin for “Always Faithful.” To Marines, it means serving others before serving self, and always displaying our core values of honor, courage and commitment.
Many people around us serve. Some, like those in the military, first responders and medical professionals, serve in uniform. Some, like teachers, serve our communities by developing the intellect and values of our young.
I look back at my years at San José State as preparation for my later service to our nation. The late sixties and early seventies were a difficult time for our country because of racial tensions, and I was actively involved as a leader in not only the football team, but in the Black Athletes Federation on campus. The skills I learned as a student, an athlete, and because I was willing to get involved in important issues have served me well as a Marine leader, a husband, and as a father.
Note: Marine Corps Installations West (MCIW) partners with the CSU system on the Troops to College program. MCIW is comprised of seven Marine Corps bases and stations in Southwestern United States. MCIW provide the installation and training infrastructure to enable Marine Corps air and ground forces to develop and sustain operational readiness. To this end, MCIW’s primary mission is to support training, sustaining, and deploying the warfighter, and to provide their families with services that enrich their lives.