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Deputy Commanding General of Operations, First Army

Major General Mark C. Jackson assumed duties as the Deputy Commanding General of Operations, First Army July 1, 2021.  He previously served as Illinois' Director of the Joint Staff.

General Jackson has over 35 years of military service.  He joined the Illinois Army National Guard in June 1984. He commissioned as a second lieutenant in May 1987 after completing the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Illinois State University.  General Jackson has served in every leadership position from platoon leader to Brigade Commander, and in many staff officer assignments culminating with his selection to serve as the Assistant Adjutant General – Army following his successful completion as the J3 for the Illinois National Guard. General Jackson has supported military operations in Poland, Ecuador, Kuwait, Germany, Belgium, and Italy.  He deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom January 2005 to May 2006 as the Task Force Blackhawk Commander with the 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment.  He served as a Force Protection Liaison Officer under Task Force Santa Fe, with U.S. Army – Europe from January 2002 to August 2002 for Operation Enduring Freedom. General Jackson also deployed to Kuwait in August 2000 to February 2001 as the Security Force Commander with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment for Operation Desert Spring.

General Jackson holds an associate’s degree in Business Administration from Parkland College, a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Illinois State University, a Master’s of Business Administration from Governor’s State University and a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. 

General Jackson’s military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (1 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (1 Silver Oak Leaf Cluster and 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), National Defense Service Medal (1 Bronze Service Star), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal (2 Bronze Service Stars), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (Mobilization Device, Gold Hourglass Device, and Numeral 3), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon (with Numeral 3), Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Parachutist Badge.

(As of Aug 2021)