Cadet Brian Jackson ’24, a cadet majoring in English with a concentration in literary studies, philosophy, and rhetoric and writing, hosts a talk show called “In the Life of a Personal Trainer” that broadcasts once a month on WDCA Fox 5 Plus, a television station in Washington, D.C. The show also broadcasts on Jackson’s YouTube channel, ImBrianJackson.
Jackson was offered the opportunity to host his own show last summer after he appeared as a guest on a similar show hosted by his mother, retired U.S. Army Maj. Zoevera Jackson. The executive producer admired his natural on-air poise and demeanor and thought he would be a fine host. Jackson’s show features leaders in the community who use their gifts and talents to help others reach their personal and professional goals. “I seek out guests to interview who are inspirational, work to improve the lives of others, and are passionate in what they do,” said Jackson. Recent guests include Walter Kirkland, founding president of 100 Black Men of Prince George’s County, Inc. in Maryland, and Tarrail Murphy, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, certified personal trainer, and author of Get Marine Fit.
Jackson can tape many shows in one day during his school breaks, allowing the station to broadcast them over several months. “Over Christmas break, I plan to film five shows and already have my guests lined up,” he said.
Jackson’s academic advisor, Lt. Col. Steven Knepper, Ph.D., is excited to see him get a strong start in broadcast journalism as an undergraduate. “Brian brings insight, energy, and initiative to every dimension of his cadetship,” said Knepper.
Over the summer, Jackson studied abroad through the Council on International Educational Exchange program in Ghana, Africa. He studied Twi, one of the languages of Ghana, as well as the culture. While there, he stayed in a hostel at the University of Ghana. “The interior of the hostel was very similar to VMI barracks, so it felt like home,” he quipped.
Jackson, a member of VMI’s wrestling team, is currently working toward his personal training certificate through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He plans to help his fellow athletes and himself with his training. “Physical fitness is a passion of mine. I really enjoy it,” Jackson said.
Jackson comes from a military family. In addition to his mother being an Army veteran, his father retired from the National Guard and is now a police officer at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Jackson is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Promaji Club at VMI. He graduated from Massaponax High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Upon graduating from VMI, Jackson will commission for eight years into the Army Reserve, where he hopes to branch to the adjutant general unit specializing in human resources and public affairs. He plans to earn his master’s degree in journalism.
Marianne Hause VMI Communications & Marketing