Captain Robert Jackson, '72
Captain Robert Jackson was born December 18, 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bob Jackson graduated from Paul VI in 1972. Jackson was mainly interested in athletics. He participated in football, indoor track and baseball with one year of wrestling as a freshman. Academically, the best Bob can say is that he was a survivor. He met the academic requirements to attend any college he wanted but when he thinks back, it seemed there was never enough time in a day to do everything academically that he accomplished on the athletic fields. This would change as he matured and better defined his future goals in life. Bob Jackson received the All-American award for football as well as All-State New Jersey, All South Jersey, South Jersey Player of the year, and several conference and local awards. For Baseball: All South Jersey and he broke a New Jersey state record for indoor track.
In his early days, Bob was exposed to the Navy because of his grandfather and his sea stories from all his grandfather’s experiences, but never did Bob envision that life for himself until his senior year at Paul VI. As a football player, he was recruited heavily throughout the country and had actually narrowed his college choice down to the University of South Carolina, University of Colorado, and Penn State. In the back of his mind however, he continued to be impressed with the recruiting effort of the Naval Academy. They were actually the first school to start recruiting him sometime late in his sophomore year. Bob was always impressed by their athletic staff and graduates. More important than anything else was how impressed he was with their discussions of life and opportunities above and beyond football. This is what in the end, solidified Bob’s decision to attend the United States Naval Academy. Looking back, Bob can still remember that morning over 34 years ago when he made his final decision, and still is as strong today as he once was that this was the right decision for him. In 1976, Bob received his B.S in Physical Science and in 1993, received a M.S. in International Relations from the Naval War College. Bob also received 25 medals and ribbons for personal or command excellence, he believes his highest achievement has been the selection for him to command 3 ships( USS Merrimack, USS Ponce, and USS Wasp). To Bob, there is no higher award than the opportunity to lead young men and women into battle if necessary and to accomplish our countries military missions. Bob married a Paul VI alumni (Gerry Murray) who graduated in 1973. They began dating in high school and married in 1977. Today they have 4 children, his oldest son has followed in his footsteps and is completing his senior year at The Naval academy.
“There are no individuals in team. These words allowed me to be successful on the athletic fields, and to be just as successful in leading men and women in the military.”
Matt Romano, Captain Jackson’s nephew, graduated from Paul VI High School 2001. He attended La Salle University on a full military scholarship, majoring in Biochemical technology. Upon graduation, Matt was stationed in Hawaii as a Second Lieutenant, where he continued his studies, before deploying to Iraq on August 30, 2006. Matt led a troop of over 100 soldiers in Iraq. Matt asks that everyone pray for all U.S. Military who are serving overseas.