Military News

Friday, June 05, 2015

Whiteman Airman receives Lance P. Sijan award

by Senior Airman Joel Pfiester
509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

6/5/2015 - WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- A Whiteman Airman was recently named the 2014 Lance P. Sijan award recipient in the company grade officer (CGO) category.

Capt. John Sullivan, 509th Security Forces Squadron operations officer was recognized May 28 during a ceremony hosted by Air Force Global Strike Command commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson.

The award, first presented in 1981, was established in honor of the first U.S. Air Force Academy graduate to receive the Medal of Honor. Capt. Lance P. Sijan was a fighter pilot who was shot down over Vietnam Nov. 9, 1967, and was later killed while a prisoner of war.

The Sijan award recognizes the accomplishments of officers and enlisted members who have demonstrated the highest quality of leadership in the performance of their duties and their personal lives.

This is Sullivan's first time winning the Lance P. Sijan award at the Air Force level. However, he received the wing-level Sijan award in 2010 while assigned to the 87th Air Base Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

A humbled Sullivan credits his success to the team work that goes into the mission at Whiteman.

"The mission of the 509th BW is tremendous," said Sullivan. "I am just lucky enough to be the operations officer for the 509th SFS and that I get to be a part of this fantastic team."

Sullivan is responsible for the one of the Air Force's largest nuclear deterrence security forces squadrons, overseeing more than 550 personnel who protect Whiteman's greatest resources.

Sullivan orchestrated the security plan during two major exercises, and manages the physical security for more than $45 billion worth of aircraft and munitions on a daily basis. He was named the 8th Air Force 2013 Company Grade Officer of the Year (CGOY) as well the AFGSC Security Forces CGOY in 2013.

Sullivan's consistent demonstration of leadership led to him receiving the award.
"I don't know if people realize what a big deal that is," said Wilson. "First of all, he's an outstanding leader. To be recognized amongst Whiteman's best would be phenomenal but to be recognized as the Air Force's best CGO (in the leadership area) is spectacular. It is indicative of the talent we have here at Whiteman. He is a rock star. He is one of those role models leaders who will go on to do great things for our Air Force."

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