Bullard concludes three-decade career

Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan (left), adjutant general for the Commonwealth Kentucky, pins the Meritorious Service Medal onto Brig. Gen. Steven P. Bullard (right), the outgoing chief of staff, Headquarters, Kentucky Air National Guard, during Bullard’s retirement ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on Oct. 22, 2017. Bullard is retiring after more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan (left), adjutant general for the Commonwealth Kentucky, pins the Meritorious Service Medal onto Brig. Gen. Steven P. Bullard (right), the outgoing chief of staff, Headquarters, Kentucky Air National Guard, during Bullard’s retirement ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on Oct. 22, 2017. Bullard is retiring after more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Louisville, Ky. -- After more than 30 years of service to the Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force, Lt. Gen. Steven Bullard, chief of staff, Headquarters, Kentucky Air National Guard, was officially retired in a ceremony here Oct. 22.

Presiding over the ceremony was Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan, the adjutant general for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, who addressed a crowd of more than 200 friends, family and coworkers.

“While it’s a good day for my friend to culminate his military career of 33 years, it’s bittersweet for us because he’s meant so much to this organization,” Hogan said. “They say that the teammate you value the most is the one who’s strengths overcome your own weaknesses. I came into this position as a professional Solider with absolutely no political experience. Steve helped me along and gave me great insight.”

Bullard’s retirement ceremony attracted a notably diverse crowd, including members of Congress and lobbyists.

“The man knows everybody, and if he doesn’t know them, he knows somebody that knows them,” Hogan said. “I think he’s got the whole state of Kentucky on speed dial. When I go up on Capital Hill, I’m kind of known on the hill as ‘that guy who comes with Steve Bullard.’

“The last thing that I will tell you about Steven Bullard is that he’s a good man and a great patriot,” Hogan continued. “The value that he has had to my administration and to me personally is something that I’m never going to be able to replace. Thank you, sir, for you patience with me. You showed me the ropes, and I’m proud to be that guy that accompanies you to Capital Hill.”

In addition to being chief of staff for Headquarters, Bullard served as deputy director of the Joint Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Kentucky National Guard. In this role, he was responsible to the adjutant general and assistant adjutant general-Air for the coordination of policy, guidance and the direction of the commonwealth’s 8,000 Army and Air Guardsmen.

During his career, Bullard completed two Joint Air Component Coordination Element staff tours for the commander, 7th Air Force, Osan Air Base, South Korea. He served as the 7th Air Force JACCE for the Republic of Korea chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2017, and 7th Air Force JACCE for the commander of the Republic of Korea Army’s 2nd Operational Command during exercise Ulchi Freedom Guard 2016.

Bullard also served as director of mobility forces for U.S. forces in Korea and 7th Air Force during exercises Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2015, Key Resolve 2016 and Key Resolve 2017. He additionally served as director of mobility forces for U.S. Pacific Air Forces during exercises Pacific Sentry 2017 and Talisman Saber 2017.

In the civilian community, he was the director of public affairs for Associated Industries of Kentucky from 1993 to 2004 and currently serves the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs as director of the Division of Administrative Services. The division is responsible for personnel administration and functions, procurement actions, accounting and fiscal functions, maintenance and storage of War Records Bureau documents, records and legislative activities.

Bullard has served as chairman of the Louisville Armed Forces Committee since 2009. He completed two terms as elected president of the National Guard Association of Kentucky, and as the volunteer executive director of the Kentucky Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve from 1993 to 2001.

As the ceremony came to a close, Bullard took to the podium to give his final remarks.

“I want to thank the 123rd Airlift Wing,” Bullard said. “What a great unit you are. The 123rd holds the Air National Guard record for Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards, and there’s a reason for that. They’re the best at what they do.”