Retired Army Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, the president and CEO of the Association of the U.S. Army, will receive the Military Hero Award from the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation at its 11th Annual Night of Heroes Gala on May 14.
With a theme of Building the Future, Honoring the Past, the gala will honor people who led the way in serving the nation, and will include a special tribute to Vietnam-era veterans. Sullivan served two tours in Vietnam early in his Army career, ultimately rising to serve as Chief of Staff of the Army before his retirement in 1995. He has headed the Association of the U.S. Army since 1998.
“There are few people like General Sullivan who have spent so much of their lives serving our nation,” said Jane Whitfield, president and CEO of the PenFed Foundation. “His commitment to defending our freedom while leading our military goes above and beyond.”
General Sullivan is highly regarded in the military community, having overseen the transformation of the Association of the U.S. Army into a dynamic member-based organization that represents soldiers, families and the defense industry. After being commissioned as a second lieutenant of Armor in 1959, he served 36 years, retiring in 1995 as the 32nd Chief of Staff—the senior general officer in the Army—and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“I am deeply honored to be chosen to receive the Military Hero Award from the PenFed Foundation, and humbled,” Sullivan said. “I have spent a lifetime advocating for soldiers and the Army, but did not do it alone. Every day of my 36 years in uniform, I knew I was involved in a team effort where my hard work and dedication was matched by the hard work and dedication of others. It is my pleasure to accept this award, and I do so on behalf of the thousands of people who have worked alongside me.”
Each year the PenFed Foundation selects an individual for the Military Hero Award who has served in the military and performed acts of significant leadership benefitting others. Previous Military Hero Award recipients in recent years include retired Navy Vice Admiral Norb Ryan Jr., president of the Military Officers Association of America, and Army Col. Gregory D. Gadson, commanding officer of Fort Belvoir, Va.
The Night of Heroes Gala, a black tie or military dress occasion, will begin at 6 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Washington, D.C., with a reception and silent auction followed by dinner, live auction and the program.
The evening will include special messages from First Lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Jake Tapper, anchor and chief Washington correspondent for CNN, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies at the event and Miss DC Teresa Davis will make a special appearance.
“We are honored to have General Sullivan join us for our most important annual event,” Whitfield added. “His legacy in the military community is unparalleled and we are thrilled to present him with this year’s Military Hero Award.”
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