After 30 years, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan is signing off from duty from the United States Marine Corps Reserves, he told the Must Read Alaska Show on Friday. He is the only member of any of the military reserves in the U.S. Senate; senators and congressional representatives can be reservists but not active-duty military.
“I am breaking some news on Must Read Alaska because you guys are so great. It’s a little bittersweet for me though. I just recently retired as a full-bird colonel in the US Marines…I am going to have a my retirement party back home in Alaska,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan is attached to a Marine reconnaissance battalion based in Hawaii.
His first deployment after joining was in the Taiwan Strait, which may be one reason he focuses on national security in that tense region of the world, the area between Taiwan and China, and is a staunch defender of Taiwan in his role as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He is also on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
Since 1993, Sullivan has served in a variety of command and staff billets on active duty and in the reserves, including: TRAP (Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel) Force commander and 81mm mortar platoon commander, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable); Weapons Company executive officer, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines; commanding officer, Delta Company, Anti-Terrorism Battalion; executive officer, Echo Company, Fourth Reconnaissance Battalion; and commanding officer, 6th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company.
In 2004, Sullivan was recalled to active duty for a year and a half to serve as a staff officer to the commander of U.S. Central Command, General John Abizaid, spending substantial time deployed in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, and Central Asia.
In July 2013, Sullivan was recalled to active duty to serve with a Joint Task Force in Afghanistan focusing on dismantling terrorist networks and criminalizing the Taliban insurgency.
Sullivan, now 59 years old, trains seasonally with the Marine Corps and while serving in the U.S. Senate, can often be seen jogging around the U.S. Capitol to stay fit.
The easiest place to hear the show is at the Must Read Alaska Facebook page, but it will also be posted at all of the usual places where people pick up podcast broadcasts — Spotify, Amazon, Alexa, Podbean and more.