FA School Commandant
Col. William Turner (foreground) and Maj. Gen. John Rossi, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill commanding general, salute the U.S. flag as it is raised during reveille July 23, 2014, in front of McNair Hall. Fort Sill honored Turner, the new and 51st Field Artillery School commandant and chief of FA, with a 9 a.m. ceremony.

FORT SILL, Okla. (July 31, 2014) -- The Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill honored its new and 51st Field Artillery School commandant and chief of FA with a 9 a.m. reveille ceremony July 23, in front of McNair Hall.

Col. William Turner and his family were recognized by dozens of post and community leaders and fellow service members, civilian workers, family and friends.

The ceremony was hosted by Maj. Gen. John Rossi, FCoE and Fort Sill commanding general, who said the FA and air defense artillery commandants are vital positions.

"You are the driving force behind the branch, the primary spokesman and strongest advocate for the field artillery," Rossi said. "You are going to set the standard for the field artillery leaders, and you're going to lead the FA force into Army 2025 and beyond."

Rossi said he had worked closely with Turner for the past two years at the Pentagon, and that he can confidently say that the colonel is the right person for the job.

"Bill, we're absolutely excited that you're here and that everything you're doing for us and are about to do," Rossi said.

During the ceremony, program narrator John Starling, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, explained the significance of reveille.

"Reveille is a ceremony in which a unit honors the United States flag as it is raised in the morning, musters the units and posts the day's orders," Starling said. Because the nation is at war the flag is flown 24/7, so it was lowered and the colors were raised for the reveille ceremony.

Turner was most recently the chief of the Vice Chief of Staff Initiatives Group, where he worked with the Army's senior leaders.

He said he and his family were excited to be back at Fort Sill, which holds special memories for them. The colonel said he was looking forward to working with the Soldiers, noncommissioned officers, officers and civilians "who have been tirelessly working to make our Field Artillery Branch, the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill the very best in the Army."

Turner recounted the FA branch initiatives which ranged from advances in precision fires, to improved accuracy standards to enhanced fires support coordination and leader development.

"[Leader development] will continue to be our focus in all aspects of our training to produce agile and adaptive leaders," he said.

Turner concluded by thanking his wife, retired Lt. Col. Alissa Deuel Turner and their children.

""We ask a lot of our families, particularly during these times of transition and I appreciate the wonderful support that allows me to continue to serve," he said.

Also participating in the ceremony were Fort Sill Garrison Chaplain (Col.) Matthew Pawlikowski, FCoE Headquarters Detachment, the 77th Army Band "The Pride of Fort Sill," Field Artillery Half-Section, Marine Corps Artillery Detachment and the 434th and 428th Field Artillery brigades.

Page last updated Thu July 31st, 2014 at 00:00