ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- A local Quad-Citian has achieved a rank that few achieve in federal service.

Matt Sannito -- from Moline, Illinois, was raised in nearby Coal Valley, and attended Orion High School -- was promoted into the Senior Executive Service during a ceremony April 5, here, in Heritage Hall.

It was only last month that the executive director for Support Operations, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, was selected to the SES. In this position, Sannito directs support operations in the areas of Army Prepositioned Stocks, Logistics Readiness Centers, Sustainable Readiness Model equipping, direct theater support, and the Logistics Assistance Program.

ASC is called the "operational arm" of its higher headquarters, the U.S. Army Materiel Command, and delivers all of its logistical needs worldwide.

"Matt is an accomplished leader," said Maj. Gen. Duane Gamble, commanding general, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, who served as the ceremony host.

"He's got the education. He's been to the Army War College, etc. He's had a variety of jobs and he really has demonstrated not only through his performance -- he had to hit home runs every day for the Army."

Local community leaders, mentors, family, friends and co-workers attended the ceremony including his sister, mother, and grandmother. His sister, Heather Sannito, also works in Army logistics at the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command at Detroit Arsenal, Warren, Michigan.

Sannito's wife, Jessica, is an Army civilian who works as an information technology specialist at ASC.

The SES is a position classification in the civil service of the federal government, somewhat analogous to a general officer. It was created in 1979 when the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 went into effect, Office of Personnel Management.

The SES was designed to be a corps of executives selected for their leadership qualifications, serving in key positions just below top presidential appointees as a link between them and the rest of the federal workforce, OPM states on its website. SES positions are considered to be above the GS-15 level, and below Level III of the Executive Schedule.

Initial career appointments to the SES are based on merit competition. In ASC, there are four SES positions.

During his remarks, Gamble kidded Sannito for his youthful appearance as an SES.

"Matt is wise and talented beyond his years. I'm sure he looks younger than he actually is," Gamble said, drawing laughter from attendees.

But on a more serious note, Gamble said: "He's already shouldered a ton of responsibility for the Army. When something bad happens all heads will turn to you."

Prior to leading Support Operations, Sannito was deputy of the Distribution Management Center, ASC. At DMC he was the principal adviser to the commander on the supervision and direction of resource allocation and readiness programs.

From January 2011 to August 2015, he served as the deputy executive director for the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program. There he was responsible for operations of a worldwide program with more than 45,000 personnel supporting military services, allied forces, and federal agencies.

Sannito also served in the Army Corps of Engineers' Logistics Activity in Washington, D.C., where he directed management of 400 civilians dispersed across 52 locations supporting civil works projects, military contingency operations, and disaster response.

"I've been blessed, both with my family and my career," Sannito said during his remarks. "I've had great supervisors throughout my 15 years" of government service, he said.

Sannito called out by name previous SESs who have worked at RIA and are working here now as those that mentored, coached and set goals for him to achieve.

He also told of earlier times with the COE where his boss saw potential in him and gave him options to succeed or fail. "Failure was OK because you learn from that," he explained.

Failure allows one to adapt, move on and become successful, Sannito said.

Sannito also thanked his mother and extended family for their role in his success.

"She's always been the bedrock of the family, not by choice in some cases, but just out of necessity," Sannito said of his mother. "She's always been there for myself and for my sister."

Sannito said he and his wife have enjoyed the challenges along the way, but also have experienced successes, happiness, and sadness, but "managed to work through."

"With these two individuals (wife and daughter), and the rest of the Sannito clan, I couldn't be where I'm standing right now. I can't express my thanks and my love enough to you two and the rest of my family," he said.

Sannito is a distinguished graduate of the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, where he received a master's degree in strategic studies. He also has a master's degree in logistics management from Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida. Additionally, he has two bachelor degrees in finance and management respectively from Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa.

His awards include the Meritorious Civilian Service Award -- the second highest award provided to Army civilian employees -- six Superior Civilian Service awards -- the third highest award for Army civilian employees -- two Commander's Award for Civilian Service, Global War on Terrorism Medal for his nine-month deployment to Kuwait in 2010-11, and the Army Superior Unit Award.