From Vietnam To Star Wars: Three Decades Of Service To The Nation

David S. Jackson


COL(R) David S. Jackson graduated from West Point in 1963, one of four African-Americans in his class. He commissioned into the Field Artillery, and served a year in Korea before deploying to Vietnam. After returning from Southeast Asia, he taught at the Field Artillery School before being selected for graduate school, with a follow-on assignment as a Physics Instructor at West Point. Later in his career, he served in a variety of research and development positions working on the Strategic Defense Initiative (aka “Star Wars”). In this interview, he discusses his service in Vietnam, his time as a physics instructor, and his research on the Strategic Defense Initiative. He also talks about his experience as one of a handful of African-American Cadets at West Point during the early 60s. Please Note: At one point in the interview, the video gets blurry, it will clear up.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics African American Military Experience Race in the Military Leadership West Point History Diversity
interviewer Rick Black
date 03 August 2015


name David S. Jackson
institution USMA
graduation year 1963
service Field Artillery
unit 3/82 FA (RVN)
specialty Physics Instructor
service dates 1963 1993