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Executive Biographies

GEN Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret.
President & Chief Operating Officer

General Sullivan is the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Association of the United States Army, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.  He assumed his current position at the Association in February 1998.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts on 25 September 1937 and raised in Quincy.  He was commissioned a second lieutenant of Armor and awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Norwich University in 1959.  He holds a Master of Arts degree in political science from the University of New Hampshire.  His professional military education includes the U.S. Army Armor School Basic and Advanced Courses, the Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College.

General Sullivan retired from the Army on 31 July 1995 after more than 36 years of active service.  He culminated his service in uniform as the 32nd Chief of Staff—the senior general officer in the Army—and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  As the Chief of Staff of the Army, he created the vision and led the team that transitioned the Army from its Cold War posture.

He is the co-author, with Michael V. Harper, of Hope Is Not a Method (Random House, 1996), which chronicles the enormous challenges encountered in transforming the post-Cold War Army through the lens of proven leadership principles and a commitment to shared values. He serves on the boards of several major corporations.  He is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Norwich University; a director of the Institute of Defense Analyses, and the Chairman Emeritus of the Marshall Legacy Institute.

During his Army career, General Sullivan also served as Vice Chief of Staff; Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans; Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Riley, Kansas (June 1988-July 1989); Deputy Commandant, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (March 1987-June 1988); and Assistant Commandant, U.S. Army Armor School, Fort Knox, Kentucky (November 1983-July 1985).  His overseas assignments included four tours in Europe, two in Vietnam and one in Korea.

General Sullivan is married to the former Gay Loftus of Quincy, Massachusetts; they currently reside in Alexandria, VA.  He has three children and three grandchildren.  He is an avid reader and amateur historian.

LTG Thomas G. Rhame, USA, Ret.
Vice President, Finance & Administration

Lieutenant General Thomas G. Rhame, USA (Ret.) was born in Winnfield, Louisiana, on January 27, 1941. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, Infantry, through the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1963. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree with a comptrollership specialty from Syracuse University. General Rhame’s military education includes the Infantry Basic and Advanced Courses, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Army War College.

General Rhame retired from the Army on September 30, 1997, and his last military assignment was as the director of the Defense Security Assistance Agency. Before that, General Rhame was the chief of the U.S. Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia. During Operation Desert Storm, General Rhame was the Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division ("The Big Red One"), Fort Riley, Kansas. Under his command, "The Big Red One" successfully conducted the initial attack to penetrate Iraqi defensive positions, conducted the rapid passage of lines for the 1st British Armored Division, and conducted a night attack against elements of the Iraqi Republican Guard. Additionally, his units conducted a rapid exploitation and attack into Kuwait to cut off Iraqi units attempting to escape from Kuwait and hosted the cease fire talks in Safwan, Iraq.

Prior to his Command of the 1st Infantry Division, he served as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, United States Army, and Commander of the US Army Community and Family Support Center in Washington, DC. He also served as Commander, 2d Brigade, 3d Infantry Division in Kitzingen, Germany; Chief of Staff, 3d Armored Division in Frankfurt, Germany; and Assistant Division Commander, 3d Armored Division and Community Commander of the Hanau Military Community.

General Rhame served as the Senior Advisor to the 1st Brigade, 40th Infantry Division of the California National Guard during the period 1978-1980.

General Rhame also served two tours of combat in Vietnam, his first in 1967, commanding B Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry; his second in 1971, serving as a District Senior Advisor with USAMACV.

General Rhame received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster), the Distinguished Service Medal (with two oak leaf clusters), the Silver Star (with oak leaf cluster), the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with "V" Device (with two oak leaf clusters), the Meritorious Service Medal (with two oak leaf clusters), the Air Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal with "V" Device. He also wears the Parachutist Badge, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Army General Staff Badge, and the OSD Identification Badge.

General Rhame is married to the former Linda Saunders of Lecompte, Louisiana. They have two children: Becca lives in Woodbridge, VA and Gregg, his wife Pam and daughters, Taylor, Ashley and Emily reside in Stafford, VA. General Rhame joined the AUSA staff on May 28, 1998.

Theodore G. Stroup, Jr.

LTG Theodore G. Stroup, Jr., USA, Ret.
Vice President, Education

Lieutenant General Theodore G. Stroup, Jr., currently serves as AUSA’s Vice President, Education, and as Executive Director of the Institute of Land Warfare. Prior to his retirement from active service, General Stroup was serving as the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. As a combat engineer, General Stroup commanded at all levels through battalion. His Vietnam service (1965-67) included duty as a construction engineer in the U.S. Army Support Command, Vietnam; aide-de-camp to the commanding general of the 1st Logistics Command; and commander of Company C, 864th Engineer Battalion (Construction). In Germany (1978-80), General Stroup commanded the 293rd Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy). Within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he served as the Assistant Director, Civil Works, in Washington, DC (1981-82), and as commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District, Fort Worth, Texas, from July 1982 until January 1985. His staff duty includes service as an engineer personnel management officer, U.S. Army Military Personnel Center (1973-76). He then served as a manpower analyst in the Office of the Chief of Staff until January 1978.

General Stroup has also been assigned as executive officer to the Army Vice Chief of Staff (1985-86) and as deputy director of the Headquarters Reorganization Study, Army Reorganization Commission, under the Office of the Secretary of the Army. He also served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Resource Management, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, and as Director for Military Personnel Management in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. He also was Director for Program Analysis and Evaluation in the Office of the Chief of Staff. General Stroup was commissioned through the U.S. Military Academy (1962) and later served as a course director in the Academy’s Military Science Branch (1968-71).

General Stroup is a licensed professional civil engineer in Texas and Pennsylvania. He holds a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University, and a Master’s in Finance and Economics from the American University, and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Armed Forces Staff College and U.S. Army War College.

Roger G. Thompson

LTG Roger G. Thompson, Jr., USA, Ret.
Vice President, Membership & Meetings

Lieutenant General Roger G. Thompson, Jr., USA Ret., is responsible for AUSA National support to 128 chapters worldwide, total membership in the three categories of national sustaining category, corporate category at chapter level and the individual membership. He serves as the Chairman of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee, and is also responsible for AUSA’s nine symposia in key Army operational areas, the Winter Symposium and AUSA’s participation in four international military shows in support of the Army. Additionally, he is responsible for the Association’s National support of Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier Programs, the ROTC program and chapter training.

General Thompson has commanded at all levels through Army Major Command. He began his 34-year career in field artillery where he commanded firing batteries in Fort Hood, Texas, and Vietnam. As an Army logistician, he commanded an early deploying transportation company, an Army port battalion, and the 37th Transportation Command in Europe, and Military Traffic Management Command (currently named - Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command). He served three times in the Department of the Army Staff. His last position on the Staff was Director of the Army Budget. He completed his military career as the Deputy Commander in Chief, United States Transportation Command. During his career, General Thompson served in the 1st Armored Division, 82d Airborne Division, 3d Infantry Division and VII Corps Headquarters.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Military Academy, a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Syracuse University, and a Masters Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He attended the Army’s Command and General Staff College and the Naval War College.

Jimmie W. Spencer

CSM Jimmie W. Spencer, USA, Ret.
Noncommissioned Officers & Soldier Programs

CSM Jimmie W. Spencer, a native of Mobile, Alabama, enlisted in the U.S. Army in December 1961. The following month began his military career at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. During his thirty-two years of active military service, CSM Jimmie W. Spencer has had a variety of assignments with Infantry, Special Forces and Ranger Units.

CSM Spencer became the Director of Noncommissioned Officer & Soldier Programs, Association of the United States Army on August 23, 1993. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Army Historical Foundation. He is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Armed Forces Retirement Home Foundation, the Armed Forces Services Corporation, and the Army Air Force Mutual Aid Association.

CSM Spencer frequently serves as a senior mentor for the Command Sergeants Major Designee Course held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

CSM Spencer is married to the former Susan Turgeon. They have two children, Melissa and Michelle, and three grandchildren, Polly, Spencer and Christian.

  • 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY
  • 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) (Airborne) Republic of Vietnam
  • 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC
  • 3rd and 7th Special Forces Groups (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, NC
  • Military Advisory Command, Republic of Vietnam
  • Special Forces A Detachment with the Berlin Brigade - Team Sergeant
  • 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Lewis, WA - First Sergeant

As Command Sergeant Major:
  • Florida Ranger Camp, Eglin Air Force Base, FL
  • 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Devens, MA
  • 2nd Engineer Group, Yongsan, Korea
  • 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Casey, Korea
  • Combined Field Army (ROK/U.S.) in Uijongbu, Korea
  • U. S. Total Army Personnel Command, Alexandria, VA
  • U. S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, NC

CSM Spencer holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of the State of New York. In 1968, he completed Special Forces Training at the JFK Special Warfare School. His other military education courses include Special Forces Weapons, Advanced SCUBA, and Jungle Operations Training Courses. He is a 1980 graduate of the Sergeants Major Academy.

CSM Spencer is a graduate of both the U.S. Army and Republic of Korea Ranger Schools and the Canadian Airborne School.

Awards and Decorations:
  • Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Purple Heart
  • Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters
  • Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Air Medal
  • Vietnam Honor Medal
  • Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm
  • Combat and Expert Infantryman, Master Parachutist, SCUBA, Pathfinder, and Jungle Expert badges
  • Ranger and Special Forces Tabs
  • Canadian, Spanish, Ecuadorian and Republic of Korea Parachutist badges
  • The National Infantry Association Order of Saint Maurice in the Rank of Primicerius
  • Member of the Ranger Hall of Fame (2004)

CSM Spencer is a member of EANGUS (Enlisted Association of the National Guard) and a life member of: the Veterans of Foreign Wars Association, the Infantry Association, the Special Forces Association, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Special Operations Centurion Club, 1st cavalry Division, 2nd Infantry Division, the 82d Airborne Division and Ranger Regiment Associations. Additionally, CSM Spencer is a life member and past National President of the U.S. Army Ranger Association.

Donald E. Thomas
CSM Donald E. Thomas, USA, Ret.
Assistant Director,
Noncommissioned Officers & Soldier Programs

CSM Thomas, a native of Fairfax, Va., was drafted into the United States Army on January 26, 1971. After completing Basic and Military Police Advanced Individual Training, he was assigned to numerous installations both stateside and overseas. CSM Thomas concluded his career as the Command Sergeant Major, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, United States Forces Korea, and Eighth United States Army, Yongsan, Korea.

CSM Thomas began serving as the Assistant Director of NCO & Enlisted Affairs, now known as NCO & Soldier Programs, Association of the United States Army, shortly after his retirement. CSM Thomas is married to the former Mitzie Dumas.


His military education, in addition to Basic and Advanced Individual Training, included Military Police Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course, Military Police Investigation Course and the United States Army First Sergeant Course. CSM Thomas is a graduate of the United States Sergeants Major Academy Class #31, Fort Bliss, Texas. He also holds an Associate in Arts Degree from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of the State of New York.

Overseas Assignments:
  • Military Policeman, Company B, 385th Military Police Battalion, Stuttgart, Republic of Germany
  • Platoon Sergeant/Internal Security NCO, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Mons, Belgium
  • First Sergeant, Military Police Company, United States Chemical Activity, Johnston Island
  • Command Sergeant Major, 92nd Military Police Battalion, Republic of Panama
  • Command Sergeant Major, 8th Military Police Brigade, Yongsan, Korea
Stateside Assignments:
  • Squad Leader, Safeguard Command Military Police Company, Nekoma, N.D.
  • Training, NCO, 437th Military Police Company, Fort Belvoir, Va.
  • Military Security Force, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C
  • First Sergeant, 259th Military Police Company, White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
  • Provost Sergeant Major, Air Defense Center & Fort Bliss, Texas
  • Command Sergeant Major, 720th Military Police Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas
Awards & Decorations:
  • Legion of Merit
  • Meritorious Service Medal (fifth award)
  • Joint Service Commendation Medal (second award)
  • Army Commendation Award
  • Humanitarian Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • Army Achievement Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
  • Army Service Ribbon
  • Overseas Ribbon (numerical five)
  • Military Police Hall of Fame (2004)