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Posted 4/7/2015

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By Megan Holland, ERDC Public Affairs

VICKSBURG, Miss. - U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Deputy Director Dr. John Cullinane retired after 46 years of service to ERDC, the Army and the Nation. A ceremony was held to honor Cullinane, who was presented with the Silver de Fleury Medal and a copy of the Congressional Record depicting recognition from Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran.  He was also presented with an official retirement certificate and pin, as well as an ERDC collage and a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol.

“It has been a fantastic journey, culminating in the last five years as the ERDC deputy director,” said Cullinane. “The transformation of the separate laboratories into one effective organization has been, and still is, a true adventure. For some of us old-timers, it has certainly been an ‘E’ Ticket to ride – for sure. (Note to younger employees, just Google it.)”

Cullinane began his ERDC career in 1978 as a research civil engineer. He went on to hold numerous leadership positions across the organization, including program manager of the Environmental Restoration Research Program; technical director of Military Environmental Engineering and Sciences; and lead technical director of Environmental Quality and Installations. In 2010, he accepted the challenge to serve as deputy director of ERDC, a role that has allowed him to develop effective, efficient and sustainable business operations and processes.

He chaired the Program Management Board, comprised of the senior executives who direct ERDC’s seven laboratories, and has championed the ERDC BESST Initiative, a strategic framework to guide the organization into the year 2020. In addition to his ERDC contributions, Cullinane was also commended for his exceptional military service.  From 1969 to 1999, he served as a commissioned officer, engineer, with the U.S. Army Reserve, and was in an active duty status from 1970 to 1972.

“If you do not know it already, ERDC is a fantastic place to work. Our tag line – ‘Innovative Solutions for a Safer, Better World’ sums it up,” said Cullinane. “As I reviewed the research programs, listened to the many briefings (trying to avoid Power Point poisoning), or toured the laboratories escorting our many visitors, I never ceased to be amazed at the variety and depth of the research and technical assistance activities conducted by the ERDC. ERDC employees, as a team, are solving complex problems for the benefit of the Army, the DOD and the nation.

“I wanted to take this last opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your dedicated service to the nation and support to me personally,” continued Cullinane. “Best wishes to the ERDC and to each of you personally for a bright and prosperous future. Finally, if you need to contact me, just call BR-549. (Note to younger employees, just Google it).”

Former ERDC Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory Director Dr. David Pittman has been tapped to serve as ERDC’s next deputy director.