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First Name: Gordon

Last Name: Sullivan

Birthplace: Boston, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Russell

Date of Birth: 25 September 1937

Rank: General

Years Served: 1959-1995
Gordon Russell Sullivan

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Gordon Russell Sullivan
General, U.S. Army

Gordon Russell Sullivan was born on 25 September 1937 in Boston, MA, and raised in Quincy. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Norwich University in 1959. As a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), he was also commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Armor. He also earned 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.

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

He culminated his service in uniform as the 32nd Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army-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.

General Gordon Sullivan retired from the Army on 31 July 1995 after more than 36 years of active service.

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal

Distinguished Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster

Defense Superior Service Medal

Legion of Merit

Bronze Star Medal

Purple Heart

Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster

Joint Service Commendation Medal

Army Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster

Army Achievement Medal


Combat Infantryman Badge

Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge

Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge

Army Staff Identification Badge


In 2003 he was awarded the prestigious Sylvanus Thayer Award by the U.S. Military Academy.

In Retirement

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 U.S. Army, headquartered in Arlington, VA. He assumed his current position at the Association in February 1998.


Sullivan is married to Miriam Gay Loftus Sullivan, formerly of Quincy, MA; they currently reside in Alexandria, VA. They have three children and three grandchildren.

General Sullivan is an avid reader and amateur historian.

Honoree ID: 337   Created by: MHOH




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