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Jackson, Anthony. Interview, 2023-03-07

Identifier: SC027-32

Scope and Contents

In his interview, Major General Jackson discusses his upbringing in a military family, including participating in a sit-in in a local drug store, and offers a comparison between his military service and that of his father, who served in the United States army. Jackson discusses life on military bases and support systems for deployed soldiers. Jackson recounts the courtship of his future wife, Sue, their early relationship, and the experience of being in an interracial relationship in the 1970s. Jackson discusses his later career with the Marines, including serving as Deputy Commanding General for MARCENT, where he helped make the case for the military to purchase Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs) during the second Iraq war, and working as Director of Military Operations and Logistics, AFRICOM. Jackson also discusses finishing his military career by returning to Camp Pendleton and other western U.S. bases as Commanding General for Marine Corps Installation West (MCI West).

Jackson finishes his interview discussing his time working for California State Parks, his relationship with Cal State San Marcos, and his family lineage, which includes the enslaved wagon driver Green Flash, who drove Brigham Young's wagon on the Mormon exodus to Salt Lake City.

This interview contains a video file, written transcript, and an email PDF with images of the genealogy scrapbook that Jackson shows at the end of the interview. To access the PDF of the genealogy scrapbook, please contact Special Collections.


  • 2023-03-07


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Biographical / Historical

Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC (Ret) retired from the United States Marine Corps on January 1, 2012 after more than 36 years of service. After retiring from the Marine Corps, he served as the Director, California State Parks and Recreation from November 2012 through June, 2014. He has served on the Board of Directors or as an advisor on five philanthropic organizations and the California Governor’s Military Council. He is currently the Chairman of the California State University, San Marcos, Foundation Board of Directors. In retirement he stills enjoys fishing, hunting and working in his backyard fruit and vegetable garden.

Major General Jackson was born in Fort Lewis, Washington. He attended high school in Oakland, California and attended San Jose State University on a football scholarship. He graduated from San Jose State University in 1971 and completed his MA (History) in 1973. In May 2011, he was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters (H.C.) from the Trustees of the California State University and San Jose State University.

His education includes attending The Basic School, Quantico, VA; Amphibious Warfare School and Marine Corps Command and Staff College (via correspondence); The Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA; The Army War College, Carlisle, PA; National Defense University, Capstone, Washington, D.C.;and the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in National Security, Harvard, MA.

During his Marine Corps career, primarily serving as an infantry officer, he had the privilege of command at every rank from Second Lieutenant to Major General. As an infantry officer, he commanded from platoon to regiment size organizations. As a staff officer he generally worked in operations duties from infantry battalion to the Pentagon, where he was a Senior Emergency Action Officer in the National Military Command Center. As Chief of Staff, Third Marine Division, from 2002 to 2003, he served concurrently as Chief of Staff, Joint Task Force 555 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Philippines. As the G-5, Plans Officer, First Marine Expeditionary Force, he deployed to Iraq for Operation Enduring Freedom II in March 2004.

His first assignment as a General Officer was as Deputy Commander for Marine Forces Central Command. He served in that assignment from 2005 to 2007 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan and Operation Enduring Freedom, Horn of Africa. His next assignment was as the first Director of Operations (J-3) and Logistics (J-4), U.S. Africa Command. He served in that capacity from September 2007 to August 2009. In that assignment, he continued to support Operation Enduring Freedom, Horn of Africa and Operation Enduring Freedom, Transahel. His last assignment prior to retiring was Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations-West. In that capacity, he oversaw the operation of six Marine Corps Bases and Stations in California and Arizona.

His personal decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (w/two gold stars in lieu of second and third award, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (w/ two gold stars) the Navy Commendation Medal (w/ one gold star), the Navy Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (w/ two gold stars),Iraqi Campaign Medal (w/ two bronze stars), the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (w/ silver and bronze star), Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon (w/ bronze star), and the Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon.

Most Importantly, Major General Jackson is married to the former Susan Gail Steinbach of Lafayette, California. They reside in the village of Fallbrook California and they have two sons Brian and Blaine Jackson.


From the Collection: 256 Gigabytes

From the Collection: 29 Cassettes