2018-04-11 / Op-Ed

Veterans’ Affairs & Benefits

By David Miller

New Coast Guard Commandant

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced President Trump is to appoint Vice Admiral Karl Schultz as the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, replacing Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft after he steps down later this year. This appointment requires Senate confirmation. Vice Admiral Schultz has been with the Coast Guard for more than 30 years and has headed its operations in the Atlantic since 2016. If confirmed, he would become the 26th Commandant of the Coast Guard.

Shulkin out at VA, Trump nominates Navy admiral doctor

President Trump has dismissed Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and will nominate the presidential physician Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson to replace him. Adm. Jackson has served in the White House since 2006 after serving as an emergency physician in Iraq. Jackson must be confirmed by the Senate. Jackson began his naval service in 1995 at Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, Va. After completing his internship program in 1996, he went on to become the honor graduate of the Navy’s Undersea Medical Officer Program in Groton, Conn. In 2001, Jackson returned to Portsmouth Naval Medical Center to begin his residency in emergency medicine, finishing at the top of his class and receiving the Honor Graduate designation. Upon completing his residency in 2004, he was assigned to the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Va. In 2005 he joined the 2nd Marine Logistics Group in Camp Lejeune, N.C. From there, he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In the interim, Trump announced Robert Wilkie would serve as the acting secretary. Shulkin’s removal had been rumored, following a scandal over a taxpayer-financed trip to Europe this past summer. A VA Inspector General Report released this past month, criticized him for wasteful and unethical actions during the 10- day VA trip.

David Miller is a resident of Lexington Township. He is retired Navy and a member of the Fleet Reserve Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He provides an occasional column here in the Irregular on veterans’ benefits and concerns. (158?)

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