Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., president of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), received the Andrew J. Goodpaster Award for his “distinguished career in the United States Army that concluded as the 32nd chief of staff and as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- and for his leadership of AUSA” as its president and chief operating officer.
The award, presented by the George C. Marshall Foundation, honors the life and service of Gen. Andrew J. Goodpaster, a longtime trustee and chairman of the Marshall Foundation’s Board of Trustees, who was “a champion of the Marshall legacy, an American hero and an extraordinary public servant,” a foundation spokesman said.
The award to Sullivan, who was cited as emulating Goodpaster by exhibiting great courage, selfless service, patriotism, and leadership in his life as a soldier, was presented at a luncheon hosted by the foundation May 30 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hall of Flags in Washington.
Martha Raddatz, senior foreign affairs correspondent, ABC News, and author of “The Long Road Home,” who recalled first meeting and interviewing Sullivan at the Pentagon when he was a lieutenant general and the deputy chief of staff for operations and plans, was the luncheon’s master of ceremonies.
Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, USAF, Ret., the first Goodpaster Award recipient and the 2003 recipient of AUSA’s highest award -- the George Catlett Marshall Medal for “selfless service to the nation,” and John B. “Jay” Adams Jr., chairman of the foundation’s Board of Trustees, presented the award.
Saying he was “overwhelmed and humbled” when notified by Adams and Brian Shaw, the foundation’s president, that he was to receive the Goodpaster Award, Sullivan thanked and paid tribute to “those with whom I have served over the span of my life as an American soldier. They made me look better than I was.”
Sullivan also thanked his family and his wife of almost 50 years, Gay, who chose him and his way of life as a “career soldier,” and added: “She keeps me grounded.”
Commenting on Goodpaster’s life and the enumerable contributions he made to the nation and to the military, Sullivan said, “Service to the nation was his life. He epitomized selflessness, candor, courage, professionalism and he had the indefinable characteristic known as ‘Character.’”
Adding, “I think that if he were here today commenting on the national scene, he might reflect on the need for political consensus based on mutual trust and respect, and national needs – based not on partisan ideology, but on solving internal domestic problems, and addressing demands for U.S. leadership in international affairs.”
Three tributes to Sullivan came before the award presentation.
Rear Adm. Richard Schneider, USCGR, Ret., president of Norwich University, recalled in a video presentation that Sullivan was a 1959 Norwich graduate and received his commission as a second lieutenant of armor through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. Sullivan now serves as the university’s chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Gen. Carl Vuono, USA, Ret., the Army’s 31st chief of staff, and a retired senior executive with L-3 Communications Services Group, who served with Sullivan when the honoree was vice chief before succeeding Vuono as Army chief, and Nicholas Chabraja, chairman of AUSA’s Council of Trustees, who recently retired as the president and chief executive officer of General Dynamics, also spoke about Sullivan’s service to the Army, Army families and the nation.