Military Wiki

Gordon R. Sullivan
Sullivan in November 1992
Born September 25, 1937(1937-09-25) (age 85)
Place of birth Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Allegiance United States
Service/branch U.S. Army
Years of service 1959-1995
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
Battles/wars Cold War
 • Vietnam War
Awards Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Other work President, Association of the U.S. Army

Gordon Russell Sullivan is a retired United States Army general, who served as the 32nd Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Early life and education

Sullivan was born September 25, 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in nearby Quincy. He was commissioned a second lieutenant of Armor and awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Norwich University in 1959. He holds a Master of Arts degree in political science from the University of New Hampshire. His professional military education includes the U.S. Army Armor School Basic and Advanced Courses, the Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College.


Sullivan retired from the United States Army on 31 July 1995 after more than 36 years of active service. He culminated his service in uniform as the 32nd Chief of Staff—the senior general officer in the Army—and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As the Chief of Staff of the Army, he created the vision and led the team that transitioned the Army from its Cold War posture. In August 1993, President Bill Clinton assigned the duties and responsibility of Acting Secretary of the Army to General Sullivan who continued to serve as Chief of Staff.[1]

He is the co-author, with Michael V. Harper, of Hope Is Not a Method (Random House, 1996), which chronicles the enormous challenges encountered in transforming the post-Cold War Army through the lens of proven leadership principles and a commitment to shared values. He serves on the boards of several major corporations, including Newell Rubbermaid. He is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Norwich University; a director of the Institute of Defense Analyses, and the Chairman Emeritus of the Marshall Legacy Institute. Sullivan is also the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Association of the United States Army, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. He assumed his current position at the Association in February 1998. For his work with AUSA, he was awarded the prestigious Sylvanus Thayer Award by the United States Military Academy in 2003.

During his Army career, Sullivan also served as Vice Chief of Staff; Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans; Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Riley, Kansas (June 1988-July 1989); Deputy Commandant, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (March 1987-June 1988); and Assistant Commandant, U.S. Army Armor School, Fort Knox, Kentucky (November 1983-July 1985). His overseas assignments included four tours in Europe, two in Vietnam and one in Korea.

Personal life

Sullivan is married to Miriam Gay Sullivan (née Loftus) of Quincy, Massachusetts; they currently reside in Alexandria, Virginia. He has three children and three grandchildren. He is an avid reader and amateur historian.

Awards and decorations

Medals and ribbons

Combat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge
Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.png Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
GeneralStaffID.gif Army Staff Identification Badge
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Purple Heart
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Army Achievement Medal
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with service star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon with award numeral 4
Vietnam Campaign Medal (Vietnam)
Badge of Honour of the Bundeswehr (Germany)
Order of Military Merit, Grand Cross (Brazil)
File:National Order of Merit Officer Ribbon.png Ordre national du Mérite (France)


External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Gen. Robert W. RisCassi
Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1990 – 1991
Succeeded by
Gen. Dennis Reimer
Preceded by
Carl E. Vuono
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Succeeded by
Dennis J. Reimer

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