Reliving Aflac’s Early Days With Company’s First African American Officer

Feb 28, 2024 2:20 PM ET
Campaign: Aflac Stories

Originally published on Aflac Newsroom

As Black History Month comes to a close, Aflac shares a key moment in company history by highlighting James Jackson, a distinguished veteran who spent his second career with Aflac, becoming the company’s first-ever African American officer. In this video, Jim reminisces about his time at Aflac, working with company principal founder John Amos, affectionately known as “Mr. John,” and what it meant for him to be a part of Aflac history.

Jim grew up in Florida before moving to Alabama to attend Tuskegee University. A chemistry and math major, Jim soon joined ROTC program and, once commissioned as second lieutenant in the U.S. Army at Tuskegee University, he went on active duty in Germany for three years. Throughout his military career, Jim moved around to places like Missouri, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, a proving ground in Maryland, and even the Pentagon.

In 1978, after 24 years of active service with the U.S. Army — and, at the time, stationed at Fort Moore (formerly Fort Benning) near Columbus, Georgia — Jim retired and sought out a second career. After some research, he learned more about Aflac and said, “That’s a place where I’d like to work.”

Jim sent in his resume, had a few interviews, and he eventually landed in the Compliance department at Aflac. He quickly rose through the ranks and became Aflac’s first African American officer when he was promoted to assistant vice president of Employee Relations.

Fondly reminiscent of his time with Aflac, Jim said that the founders cared deeply about employees — they always treated them like family.

Watch the video above to hear more from Jim about his time with Aflac.

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