PHOTO OF THE DAY: The Black Man Who Runs The White House: Admiral Stephen Rochon, USA
No, I'm not talking about President Barack Obama. I thought I'd return to the older dudes. Who is this guy? Rear Admiral Stephen Rochon is the White House Chief Usher. The Louisiana native is in charge of the domestic staff at the White House, and making sure everything runs like clockwork. He is the eighth person and the first black person to hold this position. He was appointed to this position in 2007 under President George W. Bush after the previous usher retired after 20 years of service, and the Obamas decided to retain him.
However, don't get it twisted. Ol' boy ain't the butler. Admiral Rochon manages the day-to-day operations of the White House, with its 132 rooms, $13-million plus budget, and 90+ staff. He oversees the White House operations, maintenance and utilities and works with the White House Social Security on ceremonial events of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. If the president needs him, he's on it. If Mrs. Obama wants an environmentally-friendly, American-made swing set for Sasha and Malia, he's testing the equipment on her behalf. When the Obamas host dinners, he's there. When the Obamas say they want to make the White House more accessible to the public, he's on it.
His job is to run a tight ship, of which he is very familiar. Admiral Rochon previously served as the Coast Guard's commander of the Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlantic, where he was responsible for naval and civil engineering, financial management, personnel, legal, civil rights, electronic systems support, and contingency planning across 40 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Europe, and the Middle East.
Admiral Rochon has a B.S. in Business Administration from Xavier University, and an M.S in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University. He has earned the Coast Guard Distinguished Medal and three Legion of Merit medals.
Admiral Rochon is married and has four children.
When I was thinking about goosebumps moments, I mentioned that HGTV Special at The White House with The First Lady, and I thought it would be wonderful for Admiral Rochon, the first Black Chief Usher to be in service to the first Black First Family.