ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Sue Turton first came to Anniston Army Depot in 1978 as an Army specialist on loan to the installation's health clinic laboratory.

"It was supposed to be only a short assignment, but I quickly fell in love with the people the mission and the products here," said Turton. "It seems like only yesterday when Doug Pelham, a former depot chemist, told me I was here for life after seeing my excitement at the sight of a M551. He was right. I was hooked for life."

Turton retired from the depot Feb. 29 after 31 years of civilian service on the installation.

Her career at Anniston took Turton through almost all capacities of the Safety Office, including industrial hygiene, radiation protection, ammunition and toxic chemical safety and industrial safety.

Turton served as the acting safety officer several times between 1989 and 1997, when the director at the time deployed overseas. When he accepted another job, she was named director in 1997.

Turton's tenure as safety officer has been filled with accolades for herself as well as the installation, including a 2006 individual award from Army Materiel Command, the depot's higher headquarters.

Most recently, in 2010, the depot's Directorate of Public Works and the Anniston Defense Munitions Center, a tenant of the depot served by the Safety Office, earned awards for safety from AMC and the Secretary of the Army/ Army Chief of Staff.

"Safety is an area where improvements can always be made," said Turton. "But, when you compare Anniston Army Depot to commercial industrial areas, we excel."

The nearly 20 years she served as co-host of The Morning Show and numerous employee appreciation and safety standdown days are among Turton's most treasured memories of the depot.

"I've appreciated the opportunity to be part of the depot family," said Turton. "I am very proud to have been part of this great organization."

Scott Miller, who has been part of the depot's family since 1983, was promoted to safety officer Feb. 12.

Miller began his Army civilian career here as a material handler in the Directorate of Supply. In 1995, with the former directorate under the auspices of Defense Distribution Depot Anniston, now known as DLA Distribution Anniston, he was promoted to material handler supervisor.

"As part of my job duties, I assumed the role of radiation protection officer, because all the radioactive commodities were stored in my area," said Miller.

In 1998, when DDAA began its own safety and health program, Miller was asked to lead it. He then applied for and accepted a position with the depot's safety program in 2002 as an industrial safety team leader.

He sees many challenges ahead of him as the installation's safety officer -- among them a changing workforce.

"As our workforce transitions, we may have employees who are accustomed to working on one vehicle program, but are now tasked to another. That change comes with safety challenges," said Miller, explaining that each vehicle program on the depot has its own personal protective equipment and safety requirements based on where the work takes place and the type of work performed.

Miller also anticipates helping the depot achieve its VPP Star status.

"The challenge with VPP is training the whole workforce and ensuring all policies and procedures are followed," said Miller. "We have to go above and beyond the minimum standards."

Page last updated Thu March 1st, 2012 at 00:00