Sullivan retires with over 33 years of service

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ashlyn J. Correia
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing
The New Hampshire Air National Guard bid farewell to a member of the Pease team whose sense of leadership will not be forgotten.  In a ceremony attended by family, friends and coworkers, Col. Peter F. Sullivan Jr. retires after 33 and a half years combined service between active duty and Air National Guard.

Sullivan began his career in 1982, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts Lowell receiving his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps.  With more than 5,000 flight hours logged during his career as a pilot, Sullivan received the rating of Command Pilot.

"What an incredible journey this has been," Sullivan said to a packed hangar. "The last 33 and a half years, I have been absolutely honored and privileged to have flown helicopters and fixed wing aircraft."

Sullivan joined the NHANG in 1998 and since then has served as the Chief of Mission Development, Director of Risk Management, 133rd Air Refueling Squadron Commander and 157th Aircraft Maintenance Group Commander, all prior to his final assignment as Vice Wing Commander of the 157th Air Refueling Wing.

"It has been an honor for me to put this uniform on every single day for the last 33 and a half years, to serve our great nation, the state of New Hampshire, it has been very special," said Sullivan. "I would be lying if I didn't tell you that it's going to be a very sad day tomorrow when I wake up and I don't put this uniform on anymore."

Brig. Gen Paul Hutchinson, commander of the NHANG, spoke of Sullivan's character as a leader and his mission to make Airmen his priority.

"Most all of our current commanders have modeled themselves after Pete's legacy of putting Airmen first, and we are a better organization from Pete's example," said Hutchinson

Hutchinson talked about Sullivan's commitment to family and how his family has inspired Sullivan to be the leader he is. In attendance was Sullivan's wife, three children, and other family members.

During Sullivan's remarks he offered some advice to the Airmen in attendance and for future military leaders.

"They won't remember what you said, they won't remember what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel," said Sullivan. "All I ask is that you take care of each other because you are the future of the New Hampshire Air National Guard."

In Sullivan's final thoughts he thanked the Airmen of the NHANG and his family for living the dream during his time with the military.

"I have been able to live a dream and beyond," said Sullivan. "I am so deeply grateful."