Commander Jim Jackson, a native of Kensington, Maryland, in Montgomery County, won an appointment at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, graduating in 1975. Later, he earned a master’s degree in business management from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Making a career in the Navy, Commander Jackson earned his wings as a Naval Flight Officer in 1977 and logged over 1,300 hours as an aircraft mission commander. He served in several flying assignments in the United States and abroad—in Iceland, Bermuda, Italy, and Spain.  His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and National Defense Service Medal.

Retiring from the Navy in 1995, Commander Jackson returned to Maryland to begin a new life and a new career.  Over an 11-year period, he developed a unique and engaging speaker and exhibit series focusing on extraordinary African-American men and women in the Navy officer corps and NASA’s space program. 

As a result, Jackson has been in high demand, presenting at many museums including the United States Naval Academy museum, Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum, the Banneker-Douglass African-American Cultural Center, and the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, visionary businesses, as well as colleges, universities, conventions and conferences. 


Commander Jackson also was instrumental in developing the U.S. Naval Academy’s first celebration of African-American history in the Navy—a celebration that continues to this day.

Commander Jackson makes his home in Annapolis and serves on the staff of Anne Arundel Community College as the Coordinator for Multi-Ethnic Recruitment in the Admissions Office. 

Under the tagline Black Stars to Gold Stripes, he continues to develop his popular speaker and exhibit series.

Jackson’s love of sharing the “living history” of the African-American heroes portrayed in his lectures and exhibits has inspired many audiences to realize their dreams and contribute to the success of their families, community, and country.



Commander Jim Jackson U.S. Navy (Ret.) 1103 Riverboat Ct., Annapolis, MD 21409 410.279.5853