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Jack Jacobs

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Colonel Jack Jacobs, USA (ret.) “holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Rutgers University and entered the U.S. Army in 1966 as a Second Lieutenant through the ROTC program. He served as a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division, executive officer of an infantry battalion in the 7th Infantry Division, and commanded the 4th Battalion 10th Infantry in Panama. A member of the faculty of the US Military Academy, Jacobs taught international relations and comparative politics for three years, and he was a member of the faculty of the National War College in Washington, DC. He was in Vietnam twice, both times as an advisor to Vietnamese infantry battalions, and he is among the most highly decorated soldiers from that era, having earned three Bronze Stars, two Silver Stars and the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest combat decoration.


Jacobs retired as a Colonel in 1987. He was a founder and Chief Operating Officer of AutoFinance Group Inc, one of the firms to pioneer the securitization of debt instruments; the firm was subsequently sold to Key Bank. He was a Managing Director of Bankers Trust and of Lehman Brothers, retiring in 1996 to pursue investments. He is a principal of The Fitzroy Group, a firm that specializes in the development of residential real estate in London and invests both for its own account and in joint ventures with other institutions. He serves on the boards of directors of a number of charitable organizations and is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. Jacobs is an on-camera military and political analyst for NBC, and he is the McDermott Professor of Politics at the US Military Academy. COL Jacobs is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.”  (


Colonel Jack Jacobs is the co-author of If Not Now, When?: Duty and Sacrifice in America’s Time of Need.


According to the book description of If Not Now, When?: Duty and Sacrifice in America’s Time of Need, “Jack Jacobs was acting as an advisor to the South Vietnamese when he and his men came under devastating attack. Severely wounded, 1st Lt. Jacobs took command and withdrew the unit, returning again and again to the site of the attack to rescue more men, saving the lives of a U.S. advisor and thirteen Allied soldiers. Col. Jacobs received the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor.


Here, with candor, humor, and quiet modesty, Col. Jack Jacobs tells his stirring story of heroism, honor, and the personal code by which he has lived his life, and expounds with blunt honesty and insight his views on our contemporary world, and the nature and necessity of sacrifice.


If Not Now, When? is a compelling account of a unique life at both war and peace, and the all-too-often unexamined role of the citizenry in the service and defense of the Republic.”

If Not Now, When?: Duty and Sacrifice in America?s Time of Need
Colonel Jack Jacobs  More Info

One reader of If Not Now, When?: Duty and Sacrifice in America’s Time of Need said, “What a fantastic read. In my opinion, the combat scenes of Vietnam are reminiscent of the best writing to come out of that conflict--books like "The Things They Carried" and "We Were Soldiers Once and Young," although during the worst fighting of the Tet Offensive, Colonel Jacobs was not serving with his own U.S. Army troops in the 82nd Airborne but "embedded" as senior advisor with the South Vietnamese Army. The great revelation of this book, though, isn't the scenes of valor for which Jack Jacobs earned our nation's highest military honor. It's the comedic tone throughout. On almost every page, there's a joke or two. Growing up as a scrappy, undersized Jewish kid in New York and New Jersey, Jack comes across as the quintessential class clown. This is top-level humor writing in the tradition of S.J Perelman, Woody Allen and Steve Martin. There were moments when I was literally putting the book down, because I was laughing so hard. Colonel Jacobs is, as Brian Williams of NBC News says, a man of real greatness-- "the complete American." Buy this book and pass it on to all the veterans in your family -- fathers, uncles, grandfathers. They will love it.”


One reader of If Not Now, When?: Duty and Sacrifice in America’s Time of Need said

This book is unique. No Medal of Honor recipient has ever written a book that is both powerful and hilarious at the same time. For five years I have been recommending Medal of Honor by Peter Collier as the ideal Christmas present for veterans, young people and students of history. I must add the Jack Jacobs book to my short Christmas list. With not a word of profanity, this book is a great read for children of all ages. What a role model of selfless service.”

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