Vice Admiral Bill Sullivan graduated from Florida State University in June 1972. He received his Navy commission in September 1972 following graduation from Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island.
During his 37 years of active duty, Vice Admiral Sullivan served in a variety of sea-going assignments including cruiser, destroyer and frigate class surface ships and aircraft carrier strike group staffs. He commanded the guided missile destroyer USS SAMPSON (DDG 10) during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, deploying to the Red Sea while enforcing United Nations sanctions on Iraq. From 1997 to 1999 he commanded the Aegis guided missile cruiser USS COWPENS (CG 63), deploying to the Persian Gulf and executing Tomahawk strike operations against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Vice Admiral Sullivan has served in a variety of staff positions. Joint assignments include Director for Pacific Operations on the Joint Staff (J-3), Director for Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5) at U.S. Pacific Command and Vice Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5) on the Joint Staff. From 1999 to 2001 he served as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Korea. Prior to his retirement from active duty, Vice Admiral Sullivan served as the U.S. Representative to the NATO Military Committee, NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium.
Vice Admiral Sullivan earned a Masters Degree in National Security Studies at Georgetown University in 1990 and a Masters Degree in National Security Affairs at the National War College in 1994.
Vice Admiral Sullivan is a member of the Veterans Advisory Board for the Florida State University Veterans Legacy Complex which will house student-veteran programs, the Army and Air Force ROTC offices, and the archives and offices of the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience.