New chief of transportation takes helm
June 26, 2013
FORT LEE, Va. (June 26) -- The Transportation Corps and School has been without an official chief of transportation/commandant for more than three months.
Friday marked the first day on the job for its new commanding officer, Col. John P. Sullivan.
He is the former executive officer of the U.S. Transportation Command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. His assumption of command ceremony took place at the Transportation School auditorium.
Sullivan replaced Col. Nancy J. Grandy, the current assistant commandant who served in the positions on an interim basis.
Ceremony visitors included retired Lt. Gen. David S. Weisman, civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army; Maj. Gen. David Clarkston, assistant deputy commanding general for reserve affairs, U.S. Army Materiel Command; and former Chief of Transportation retired Maj. Gen. Fred Elam.
Maj. Gen. Larry D. Wyche, commanding general, CASCOM and Fort Lee, hosted the ceremony. During his remarks, he lauded the Transportation Corps as the "Spearhead of Logistics" and thanked Grandy, who he said fulfilled her duties to the fullest.
"Nancy came up to the plate unexpectedly, and she just absolutely performed magnificently," he said.
Speaking about Sullivan, Wyche said the New York native previously served with him at Fort Drum, N.Y.
"I can assure you there is no question in anyone's mind that the Soldiers, civilians and families of the Transportation School will remain in magnificent hands," he said. "John understands the importance of support to the war-fighter, and he is a proven leader and logistician who brings a combination of talent and experience to the position."
Sullivan thanked the general for the opportunity and said he looks forward "to developing our Army's leaders and shaping our force for the future."
The subject of leadership was a good segue into Sullivan's brief mention of two current Corps civilians whom he said had an impact on his military career. David Gatewood and Kenneth Miles, who both work within the Transportation School headquarters building, were his commander and first sergeant, respectively, while he was assigned as a platoon leader with Mannheim, Germany's 590th Trans. Co. in the late '80s.
"Both men served as tremendous role models to the officers and NCOs in our unit both in terms of their leadership styles and the technical transportation expertise they brought to our mission," he said.
Offering a bit of humor regarding their impressions of him as a young lieutenant, he said "I know many unexpressed thoughts crossed their minds, but I'm quite certain that none of those thoughts ever included the notion that 'there goes the future Chief of Transportation.'" The crowd chuckled.
Sullivan went on to say the two are "indicative of the caliber of the officers, NCOs and civilians one finds throughout our Transportation Corps. Their example has served me extremely well for the past 20-plus years, and it's gratifying to see them continue to contribute to our regiment today."
Making note of the Transportation Corps endeavors today, Sullivan talked about its contributions to the sustainment missions in Southwest Asia "while simultaneously conducting retrograde operations" and supporting strategic efforts such as its participation in military exercises in the U.S. Army Pacific Command area of responsibility.
"The Transportation Corps is in great shape," he said, "and the health of the corps is testament to the leadership, vision and foresight of great leaders like Maj. Gen. Elam as well as the tremendous efforts of our most recent Chiefs of Transportation, Brig. Gen. Steve Farmen and Col. Nancy Grandy."
Farmen relinquished his post as Chief on April 12.
Sullivan is the 27th chief of transportation. He is responsible for developing doctrine for the combat service support branch, and as commandant of the Transportation School, training 17,000 students annually at Fort Lee, Fort Eustis and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and several National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve installations.