Jake Leinenkugel picked for White House advisor post

Published: Jan. 24, 2017 at 11:54 AM CST
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When you think of Leinenkugel’s beer, Jake Leinenkugel has remained the face of the brewery – even since taking a step back from the day-to-day operations.

"He officially retired two years ago, but his kids still work in the business,” current brewery president and brother Dick Leinenkugel said to WEAU 13 News on Tuesday. “His children still work in the business and I'm sure that Jake will continue to love Leinenkugel's as he always does."

But, when a chance to help fellow veterans was offered, Jake Leinenkugel accepted the assignment. Now Jake is going back to work – but instead of the brewery, it'll be at The White House.

Jake Leinenkugel – the retired marine and former brewery president – will now be a senior White House advisor for the Department of Veterans Affairs in President Trump's administration.

“Jake was up for the position just before Christmas,” Dick Leinenkugel said. “He knew somebody within the Trump transition team and said to this person ‘If there's anything that I can do to help veterans, I would be interested in that. I’m retired. I’m not looking for a job, but if there's something I can do to help veterans, I'd be interested in doing that.’ They call them, he interviewed and was offered the position and Jake graciously accepted to help our veterans.

"We don't think there's a person who better knows issues for veterans and how to help veterans than Jake."

The announcement was made to Leinenkugel’s employees in Chippewa Falls last Friday and Jake Leinenkugel reported to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 16th.

“We wanted to make sure that our employees in Chippewa Falls new first-hand and that's why I announced the news to our employees last Friday,” Dick Leinenkugel said.

Jake Leinenkugel served in the United States Marines from 1976-1982 and was in the Marine Corps Reserves from 1983-1987. Jake's service continued a connection with the Marines - including with his father William (USMC 1942-1946), his brother Dick ( USMC 1980-1984) and to his sons Matt (USMC 1997-2002) and C.J.

"My dad always taught us to not only serve our local area and give back to our local communities, but to serve our nation as well,” Dick Leinenkugel said. “So, we're very pleased that Jake in this role is going to be able to help our veterans."

As his brother prepares to enter his new role, Dick Leinenkugel targeted one area which – as a veteran – is high in importance.

“We have over 20 veterans a day that are committing suicide and why is that? Why haven't we provided the needed care and outreach to those veterans that they feel that they need to take their own life, when they have given all that they have to our nation?” he questioned.

"Whether they're from veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars or veterans of World War II, we need to provide for those veterans that are given everything to us so that we can be free in our country."


EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Jake Leinenkugel is coming out of retirement to help out the nation’s new president.

The former president of Leinenkugel’s Brewery has been tapped by the Trump administration to become a senior White House advisor for the Department of Veterans Affairs, an official with MillerCoors Brewing confirmed to WEAU 13 News on Tuesday.

The spokesman said there would be no comment yet from Leinenkugel on the appointment, as a formal announcement has not yet been made by The White House or the Department of Veterans Affairs.

President Trump appointed David Shulkin, currently leads the Veterans Health Administration, to head the Department of Veterans Affairs on Jan. 11.

Jake Leinenkugel served in the United States Marines from 1976-1982 and was in the Marine Corps Reserves from 1983-1987. Jake's service continued a connection with the Marines - including with his father William (USMC 1942-1946), his brother Dick ( USMC 1980-1984) and to his sons Matt (USMC 1997-2002) and C.J.

"As a Veteran I'm very excited and supportive of my father," C.J. Leinenkugel said in a statement to WEAU 13 News on Tuesday. "It's not an easy transition out of the service and back into society. I went through it. I received care from VA hospitals, I've received support to get back into school and buy a home. So there's a lot of good things there, and much more can be done to give veterans better care. I believed they've earned it and deserve it.

"No matter the administration, his new endeavor and service is to our veterans. From my experience as his son, there's not a person more caring."

Jake Leinenkugel was named president of the brewery a year after its 1988 merger with Miller Brewing Co., now MillerCoors. Jake’s brother, Dick Leinenkugel, is the current brewery president. The appointment comes during the year of Leinenkugel’s 150th anniversary.