Sgt. Maj. Roy Sullivan's mission is simple -- to make a difference for the Soldier.
Sullivan assumed responsibility as the sergeant major for the Program Executive Office for Aviation June 1. He is the command's first sergeant major since its founding in 1987, a role that is sure to be instrumental in serving the noncommissioned officers who use the advanced aviation capabilities designed, developed, delivered and supported by PEO Aviation. The new role will include a lot of travel and interacting with Soldiers in the field, many of whom are enlisted.
"Relationship building is huge to any organization, and I am really looking forward to getting out and letting folks understand me, and carrying the message forward for PEO Aviation and Brig. Gen. (Thomas) Todd," Sullivan said. "The reason why I've been brought in here is to give a perspective from the NCO on how we see capabilities. When I'm out in the field, I'll be getting the Soldier perspective, seeing the instantaneous feedback, the goods and the bads of what we're fielding, so I can come back and provide their input to the command."
Sullivan, a member of the South Carolina National Guard, has spent his 30-plus year military career working in logistics and sustainment, and has a background in Apaches, Black Hawks, Chinooks and Lakotas. While he faces a learning curve entering the acquisition community, he is excited to discover more about how each project office works, with a goal of getting more NCOs into the PMs to help out and provide more of the Soldier perspective, so the right program or system can be placed in Soldiers' hands.
"I'm excited about the new challenge, the learning of acquisition, and the design and development of the aviation capabilities, and how they are employed out to the Soldiers in the field," Sullivan said. "I'm just fascinated by that. When a requirement comes, when it grows, and then it eventually gets into the hands of the Soldier -- that's what I'm looking most forward to."
As the command's newest leader, Sullivan encourages those he works with to remember why they come to work each day.
"It's not about me. It's about the organization. Make it about the organization every day. When you go to work, do your job, make it about the organization and the people within the organization, and not about yourself," Sullivan said.
Originally from South Carolina, Sullivan joined enlisted in the Army with the hopes of seeing the world, after participating in his high school's JROTC program. He served three years on active duty before joining the Guard. It is his passion for serving his country and those he works with that has kept him in all these years.
"I just love what I do. My wife always says, 'You really make me sick -- nobody should love what they do that much,'" Sullivan said with a laugh. "I just love it. You're on a great team with great folks."