Meet Major General Jack Major, M.D., Army Retired
By Jan Barrett
Jack Major was born in Greenwood, South Carolina on April 31, 1931. He attended Clemson College, an all-male school, in South Carolina, during which he was granted a draft deferment for four years so that he could attend. His schooling there included two years of ROTC. Jack graduated in 1953 with a Bachelor’s degree and Commission as a second lieutenant in the Army.
He attended the Medical College of South Carolina. Located next to his college was the St. Francis School of Nursing. One student in particular caught his eye and she turned out to be the love of his life, Joann. Jack graduated from medical school in August of 1957 with an M.D. degree and married his lovely Joann. He also began a one-year internship at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.
In July of 1958 Jack got a civilian job with the Navy to run the Dependents Clinic at the Norfolk Navy shipyard. In 1959 he was ordered to active duty in the US Army medical department.
By then he and Joanne already had baby Donna. They spent three years in Leipheim, Germany and added Jack Junior, Mary and Katherine to their family. Jack served as a physician with the tank battalion and was in charge of 700 enlisted men and 40 officers. He went where the tanks went to be available for medical care. He actually delivered a civilian baby on a helicopter on the way to the hospital. He had the opportunity to meet the young man he delivered 20 years later at a reunion. The young man was a Sergeant in the Army at that time.
Jack and his family returned to the USA in 1962 and were sent to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas where he completed his four-year residency in General Surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center. During this time, Allen and Michael were born. In case you’re counting, this is now six children.
In May of 1967Jack was sent to Vietnam for a year, (or as he put it 366 days) as Chief of Surgery. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in September and was in charge of the 71st Evacuation Unit of 400 beds in Long Binh.
In 1968 Jack was returned to Fort Jackson in South Carolina where he stayed for four years at West Point Academy. He was Chief of Surgery.
Jack also served as Chief of Surgery at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii from 1976 to 1980.
Deputy commander was Jack’s title in 1980 at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC. He had the privilege of welcoming President Ronald Reagan to Walter Reed Hospital for a visit to an undisclosed patient. Every room that is earmarked for VIPs at Walter Reed are bulletproof by the way.
He left Washington DC in 1983 with a promotion to a One Star Brigadier General.
From 1983 to 1990 Jack served in Texas; again in Oahu; back to Texas as a Commanding General in 1988.
After 32 years of service to his country Jack retired December 31, 1990. He continued his career in the private sector for some time after retirement.
Jack’s wife Joanne is an active volunteer at St Thomas More. She is a volunteer every Friday in our parish office, and also volunteers for St. Vincent de Paul, is an Usher and does the laundry for our holy purificators, is a home minister of care and a collection counter. Looks like service runs in the family.
A huge thank you for your service Jack!April 11, 2018