Ham will succeed Sullivan as AUSA president and CEO

Ham will succeed Sullivan as AUSA president and CEO

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Association of the U.S. Army will undergo a leadership change on July 1, with retired Army Gen. Carter F. Ham succeeding retired Army Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan as president and CEO.

Sullivan, the 32nd Army Chief of Staff who retired from active service in 1995 after more than 36 years of service, has led the nonprofit, educational association since January 1998.

He’ll remain as a senior fellow with AUSA’s Institute of Land Warfare.

"I’ve been proud for 18½ years to lead a professional organization dedicated to supporting the Army and all of its parts," Sullivan said. "We have an essential mission as the public voice for the Army, including its soldiers, veterans and retirees, their families, the Army’s civilian workforce and its industry partners.

"Also important to us has been our role in professional development through national and chapter activities and publications," Sullivan said. "I saw my work here as a continuation of my 36 years in the Army, building leaders, supporting the troops, facing whatever challenges the world creates."

Ham, who retired from the Army in 2013 after almost 38 years of service, was named executive vice president of the Association on Feb. 26.

A veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Odyssey Dawn and Operation Able Sentry, Ham commanded U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Army Europe and the 1st Infantry Division, among his many assignments.

Most recently, Ham served as chairman of the National Commission on the Future of the Army, an eight-member panel that made recommendations about the size, force structure and capabilities of the Total Army.

Both generals have expressed concerns about how the Army is postured for the future; that the Army is getting too small, and about instability in budgets and shortfalls in capabilities.

"America’s Army is the best in the world," Ham told the House Armed Services Committee in February.

Adding, "Those who wear the uniform deserve our gratitude each and every day. But even with those great men and women serving in uniform, the Army faces severe challenges, many of them budget-driven."

Out of concern for the budget implications, Ham has cautioned Congress against reversing force structure cuts unless money is provided to cover the added personnel costs.

"The size is important," he said, but "the Army must be properly modernized, trained and resourced."

Sullivan recently warned that he was "more concerned about America’s Army today than at any time since I first became a soldier in 1955.

"Our Army has a flat budget and continues to make force structure reductions while facing expanding global operations, a combination that makes the goal of improving combat readiness dangerously out of reach," he said.

He added, "Instead, the Army faces a death spiral in which it consumes readiness faster than it can be restored, a situation that needs immediate attention from our nation’s political leaders."