Captain Eugene Sullivan V is the fifth of his name and the third of his family to serve on operations with the Australian Army.
Currently on operations as part of Task Group Taji – 6 in Iraq on Operation Okra, Captain Sullivan reflected on his family history this Anzac Day, where he paraded at dawn with the 400-strong contingent of Australian and New Zealand military personnel to remember those that went before.
“Private Eugene Sullivan II was a stretcher bearer in the First World War, he was fatally wounded and never returned home,’ said Captain Sullivan.
“His brother, Private Kevin Alexander Sullivan, was also wounded and medically discharged. When he returned home to Lismore, he changed his name to Alexander Kevin Sullivan, re-enlisted and went back over.”
When Private Alexander Sullivan returned home for the second time, he named his son Eugene Sullivan III, in memory of his deceased brother.
But the Sullivan’s military history doesn’t end there.
With the arrival of the Second World War, Eugene Sullivan III continued the family tradition and enlisted in the Australian Army, achieving the rank of Sergeant.
“Eugene Sullivan III is my Grandfather. When he returned home from war, he carried on the family tradition, and named his son, my Dad, Eugene Sullivan IV. I was next in line,” explained Captain Sullivan.
Captain Eugene Sullivan V joined the Australian Army in 2008, where he completed academic and military studies at the Australian Defence Force Academy. In 2011, he graduated from the Royal Military College - Duntroon, commissioning as a Royal Australian Artillery Officer.
This proud tradition of service in the Sullivan line is one that Captain Eugene Sullivan V takes very seriously.
“There is no greater honour in life than to serve your country,”
“My family history of service is what drew me to the Army initially, but it is the friendships I’ve forged and the unique experiences I’ve had, like deploying to Iraq within an ANZAC Task Group, which makes me proud.”
“I’m currently deployed as a Personnel Principle Staff Officer with the Task Group Headquarters. In this role I manage the personnel requirements of a large Task Group to ensure they are ready for the mission,”
As a combined Australian and New Zealand Task Group, Captain Sullivan has traversed the personnel requirements of both nations in his current role.
“While the mission in Iraq is very different to the First World War, the ANZAC spirit, comradery and mateship between the soldiers of the two nations is closer than ever,” he said.
Captain Eugene Sullivan V will return home to Sydney and his wife Jessica later this year, where they hope to continue the Eugene Sullivan legacy.
Operation Okra is the Australia’s military contribution to the US-led Global Coalition to combat the Daesh terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria.