By: Cadet Third Class Jun
Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Sullivan is the new AFROTC Detachment 045 Commander, as well as the new Department of Aerospace Studies Chair. He was commissioned into the Air Force in 2003 through the United States Air Force Academy with a BS in Behavioral Science. In the 17 years since, Lt Col Sullivan has flown numerous aircraft and has over 2,800 hours of flight experience. He is from Liberty, Texas and is married to Heather L. (nee Hudson) of California. They have five children, Nicholas, Ashley, Johnathan, Jackson, and Taylor.
Q: How did you get interested in joining the Air Force?
As a young man entering my junior year of high school, I knew nothing about the military. I was playing football and baseball at the time, so I assumed I’d end up at some college playing sports. Like most kids, my plans didn’t extend that far in front of what I could see. Fortunately, my mother and grandmother played a major role in helping me look into the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
With nothing to lose, I thought I’d begin the process of admission. Throughout the interviews and paperwork, the gravity of the decision I was making never really sank in until stepping off the bus into basic training with bleach blonde hair (the whole baseball team dyed their hair for the playoffs a few weeks earlier) and a borrowed Naval Academy shirt from my buddy (because he promised to wear an AF Academy shirt on his first day at the Naval Academy). Needless to say, I drew a lot of attention and found out later my buddy never held up his end of the bargain. Through the ups and downs, I’ve loved it ever since!
Q: What and where was your previous assignment?
My previous assignment was AC-130W evaluator pilot and Deputy Director of Air Force Special Operations Command Operations Training Division at beautiful Hurlburt Field, FL.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
I love hanging out with my family, camping (or glamping in our camper), playing guitar and harmonica, and staying in shape. I also intend to pick up fly fishing again given our proximity to some great terrain and rivers. I’m also a collector of any and all dad joke material; nothing’s too corny.
Q: Where would you like to be after this assignment at San Jose State University?
Heather (my wife) and I haven’t quite decided what’s next as we’ve just started this adventure, but we are keeping as many options open as possible. My current focus is pouring into my family, the detachment, and the community around me. Heather and I will serve [at least] 21 years to allow our son to graduate from the same high school he started from here in San Jose, then we’ll make a decision on retiring or continuing this AF adventure to another duty assignment.
Q: What do you think the ROTC detachment brings to the SJSU community?
The value AFROTC brings to the SJSU community cannot be overstated. SJSU’s mission of enriching student lives, transmitting knowledge and application of knowledge in society, and expanding that knowledge through scholarship nest perfectly within the standards of character every cadet of Detachment 045 holds dear: Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do. Spartan Airmen are being developed to become servant-leaders who embody these attributes to not only become a guide to what they do but to also become core to who they are as they prepare to lead the USAF and USSF in 21st century operations and beyond. When done correctly, my hope is that this integrity, selflessness, and excellence cannot help but to pour out into the community at large complimenting the SJSU community’s already impressive character and diversity.
Upon graduation, Spartan Airmen become immediate ambassadors for SJSU’s vision, mission, and values bringing the best parts of San Jose to other cities, states, and even nations around the globe. Detachment 045 cadets are commissioned as officers in the USAF and USSF and instantly put into positions of authority and responsibility within the Department of Defense accounting for only 18% of its 2.9 million members. Most Spartan Airmen Alumni, if not all, will follow their military service entering corporate leadership roles utilizing their core values and experiences to better their own communities, including pouring back into the SJSU Alumni community.
In closing, AFROTC Detachment 045, Spartan Airmen, are being developed to be intelligent leaders and warriors of integrity, selflessness, and excellence. Our hope is that these Spartan Airmen core values become so essential to who they are they overflow into every interaction they have, changing our community for the better one person at a time.
“The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.” -Thucydides (c. 460 – c. 400 BC)