In the serenity of his backyard, Capt. Edward J. Sullivan, NMLC’s Executive Officer, took the oath of office during a ceremony where he was promoted to his present rank Sept. 1.
Present at the ceremony were long-time friend, Daniel M. Shelley, Lt. Cmdr., USN (Ret.), who handled the pinning duties, while Capt. Sullivan’s wife, Jennifer, took the photographs.
Son of Mary J. Sullivan and Edward J. Sullivan, Sr., of Kings Park, N.Y., Capt. Sullivan is a 1979 graduate of Saint Anthony's High School, formerly located in Smithtown, N.Y. In 1984, he graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.
In that same year, he began his military career as a United States Marine Corps motor transport officer. He was promoted to the rank of major prior to accepting a Health Science Professionals Scholarship in 1996, at which time he transferred to the United States Navy. Subsequently, he graduated from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with an O.D.
Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Sullivan served in a number of unique positions that included Deputy Surgeon of the Combined Forces Special Operations Consolidated Command, Navy Medicine's logistics chief (M42), a Medical Logistics Fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses, and the Commanding Officer of 1st Medical Logistics Company where he received the Robert A. Edgar Award while on a year-long deployment in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, as the Navy's Operational Medical Logistician of the Year. He was also the Director of Medical Planning at Naval Medical Logistics Command and most recently, the Executive Officer of Naval Medical Logistics Command.
In his current capacity, Capt. Sullivan oversees the day-to-day activities of the Navy’s medical logistics experts responsible for supporting all forces afloat and Military Treatment Facilities world-wide. However, his responsibilities span far beyond that of a master logistician.
“About a month ago I noticed some irritation in my right eye. After a few hours I had an uncomfortable stye develop on my upper eyelid. After a couple of days of applying the traditional home remedy of warm compresses with no success, I asked Ed for a hallway consult,” explained Robert (Bob) Osing, NMLC Legal Counselor. “He obliged and first asked if my family liked egg salad. I answered affirmatively but wondered what my bad eye had to do with lunch. Ed then explained that I should hard boil an egg, wrap it in a wet face cloth and apply it to my eye. The egg shape fits perfectly into the socket between the eye and the nose. More importantly, the egg retains its gentle heat far longer than any warm compress. It worked! Plus, once the egg cools, I got to consume the medical device.”
Gilbert (Bert) Hovermale, the NMLC’s Director for Acquisition Management also shared insight to Capt. Sullivan’s passion for the mission. “He was one of the first people to understand the impact that sequestration and the recent furlough would have on our contracting mission,” Hovermale said. “He reached out to leaders across Navy Medicine early and often to emphasize the need to get contracting requirements in early because of the diminished capacity we would have during the furlough period. His leadership was instrumental in making certain we could still execute our contracting mission during these turbulent times.”
Ever the humble, congenial professional, Capt. Sullivan explained why he decided to have a small promotion ceremony in the quiet surroundings that nestle his home.
“A promotion ceremony is normally shared at the command level, but we had an upcoming change of command ceremony. I did not see the need to go through the challenges of having a ceremony for myself when all hands were actively engaged in ensuring our change of command ceremony went off without a hitch,” Sullivan said.
That selfless attitude is what Naval Medical Logistics Command personnel have come to expect from their executive officer.
“Coming directly from a Marine Corps unit to NMLC was tough, but Capt. Sullivan helped make the transition easier for me as he was a prior Marine. After being greenside, I could certainly tell that a Marine was still underneath that Navy uniform,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Rashawn T. Lynch, NMLC’s Sexual Assault and Prevention Response Victim’s Advocate.
Lynch continued, “From the words he chooses to speak, to the meticulous care he takes in uniform appearance, he has epitomized my expectation of any officer in uniform. Personally, I'm not used to seeing a naval executive officer work out with the enlisted Sailors let alone share sea stories with us. But that is a trait we have come to enjoy with Capt. Sullivan. His leadership is unparalleled and he makes one want to do his or her best. I have enjoyed the short time I've worked with him and I now have a greater respect for the position, rank and him as a professional and a person. The bar has been set high for my next executive officer.”
Undoubtedly, it’s a bar he will have no problems achieving.
Capt. Sullivan is married to the former Jennifer Smith of Sherburne, N.Y.