Vice Adm. Mary Jackson is a native of Wimberley, Texas. She entered the U.S. Naval Academy in July 1984, graduating in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics with an emphasis in oceanography. Jackson earned a graduate degree from George Washington University in Engineering Management, was designated a surface warfare officer in 1989, and is qualified as a joint specialty officer.
At sea, Jackson has served on ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets with deployed operations in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Western Pacific areas of operation. Her sea assignments include assistant operations officer and navigator on USS Willamette (AO 180); operations officer on USS Briscoe (DD 977); operations officer on USS Vella Gulf (CG 72); and executive officer of USS Stout (DDG 55). Jackson commanded USS McFaul (DDG 74), which served as the flagship for Combined Task Force 158 and Commander Destroyer Squadron 50 in the northern Persian Gulf.
Her assignments ashore include seamanship and navigation instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy; theater air and missile defense officer (J85) at U.S. Joint Forces Command, flag secretary to commander, Naval Surface Forces, Atlantic Fleet; and head, surface junior officer assignments (PERS 412) at Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee. Jackson served as executive officer at Naval Station Norfolk and subsequently commanded Naval Station Norfolk. Following an assignment as chief of staff to commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, Jackson commanded Navy Region Southeast from July 18, 2014 to February 23, 2017.