This website uses cookies to ensure site visitors get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies and Privacy Statement. To find out more, please visit Southern University's Privacy Statement.

I agree

U.S. Navy Commander, alum named Force Damage Control Officer for Naval Surface Forces Atlantic

United States Navy Commander Dominique “DJ” Jackson, a 2004 Southern University graduate and native of Monroe, LA, has been named the “Force Damage Control Officer” for the Naval Surface Forces Atlantic (SURFLANT) Headquarters located in Norfolk, VA. CDR Jackson has more than 17 years’ experience in operations, weapons, engineering, training, and recruiting.


Responsible for protecting 25,000 personnel on the East Coast and Gulf Coast, as well as personnel forward deployed to Rota, Spain, Jackson will supervise and manage the prevention and response of ship damages, like fires or floods for 77 ships and 34 shore commands. Those damage control operations include ensuring a ship’s stability and mobility while in the water; evaluating and minimizing risks; establishing escape and rescue procedures; and guiding hazard containment and rapid repairs.


“I am truly humbled by the opportunity and extremely excited to be entrusted with such a huge responsibility,” Jackson said.


Jackson says he developed his strong work ethic from his single mother, Denise Jackson-Chisley, who raised seven siblings while facing poverty and other obstacles. 


“I’m thankful for having a mother that set the example of hard work, which gave me the foundation for my work ethic,” Jackson said. “Without her, I wouldn’t have achieved anything.”


Jackson, who will report to Norfolk in late July, was chosen from thousands of officers worldwide because of his experience and leadership. For the past year, he’s served in Millington, TN as the Deputy Director of Outreach and Diversity for the Navy Recruiting Command Headquarters, where he has helped improve diversity so that the Navy Officer Corps reflects the demographics of the country.


Throughout his career, he’s served as a ship driver (Surface Warfare Officer), Damage Control Assistant, Chief Engineer, as well as an Assistant Professor of Naval Science at his alma mater of Southern University. In 2010 while an instructor, Jackson was awarded the Colonel Leo A. Codd Award as the “Most Outstanding” Naval Science Instructor in the United States and finalist for the 2020 Admiral Arleigh Burke Award for Surface Warfare “Operational Excellence” out of 240,000 ship drivers.


He also received the Meritorious Service Medal, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and the 2012 International “Military Leadership Award,” among others.


Jackson was commissioned in the United States Navy in 2004 as a Surface Warfare Officer after earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. He earned his Master of Arts Degree in National Defense and Strategic Studies and graduated from the Maritime

Advance Warfighting School with a Joint and Maritime Operational Planner designation at the Naval War College in Newport, RI in 2017.


"For kids who are growing up in similar situations, I want them to know that they do not have to stay in that situation,” Jackson said. “With hard work, they can make a better life for themselves and their families."