FORT KNOX, Ky. – As a cadet in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Program this Cincinnati native learned discipline and self-pride.
Ramon Turner Sr., security specialist, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, participated in the program from age 13-17, and after earning the rank of petty officer 1st class and spending many summers training and serving aboard Naval and Marine bases, grew a desire to become a U.S. Marine.
Turner enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1981 and served 10 years on active duty and 10 years in the Marine Corps Reserve as a military policeman and a recruiter. He is currently a career planner in the Marine Corps Reserve, and qualifies for retirement in two years.
Turner began his civil service with the U.S. Postal Service. He spent eight years working as a postal carrier in Toledo, Ohio. However, that ended when he fell through a customer’s porch delivering mail and injured his back.
In addition to his 10 years serving with the military police, Turner also served as a civilian police officer in his hometown of Cincinnati for a few years. He described the civilian job as much more stressful.
“It was like night and day,” he said. “There is very little respect for police officers in Cincinnati.”
Turner believes success really comes down to one basic principle.
“If I treat you with respect, you should treat me with respect,” he said.
Turner, who started working here in July 2021, says that same principle guides him today in his current position. While he admits that the 1st TSC does not resemble the streets of Cincinnati, he takes his job here just as seriously.
“My job here is to promote, educate, and ensure 1st TSC personnel are in compliance with Information Security requirements of proper securement of classified documents and security measures,” Turner said.
He explained that people often become complacent when it comes to security processes and turn into their own worst enemies.
“Two things that all 1st TSC personnel can do daily is to ensure that their areas are in compliance by securing classified documents at all times and by removing their common access card from our computers when not in use,” he said.
Turner held several additional positions prior to becoming a member of the First Team. A series of incidents, including having to draw his weapon, eventually led him to leave police work and move to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, where he began working at Fort Knox.
Turner’s first job here was with the Department of Veteran Affairs Army Career and Alumni Program as a work-study coordinator.
“I helped Soldiers find jobs transitioning back to civilian life,” he said.
That’s where he met his wife, Joann Turner. She was retiring from the Army, and he assisted her with the transition. However, he didn’t ask her out until he no longer supervised her transition.
Turner’s second job at Fort Knox was working as a cadre with the Bluegrass Challenge Academy for at-risk youth. The program is designed to intervene and reclaim the lives of at-risk youth to produce program graduates with the values, skills, education and self-discipline necessary to excel as adults. He was promoted to accessions, mentoring and placement recruiting supervisor while working there.
Designed for our most at-risk youth in the area, Turner taught Army core values, pride, and belonging.
“We helped them get their education on track and learn to become leaders in society,” Turner explained.
Then he worked at Army Human Resources Command with the Defense Manpower Data Center prior to joining the 1st TSC.
The dual service Turner house is home to two veterans.
“I see myself as a veteran and not just a Marine,” he explained.
He and Joann Turner not only happen to share military service, but they’ve both served with the 1st TSC. Her last assignment was with the 1st TSC where she served as an 88M – motor transport operator. She retired after serving 22 years in the Army.
Together, the Turners enjoy a blended family with a total of seven kids, including sharing a daughter, Angel, who is nine years old.
Turner and Angel share a love of music and both take music lessons at the Guitar Center in Louisville. He is learning how to play the acoustic guitar and she is learning how to play the piano. His goal is to play guitar like Prince one day.
The Turners have another daughter named Chasity who is also a musician. She attends the University of Kentucky and plays the bass clarinet with the UK Wind Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the world-acclaimed UK Women’s Choir. She is majoring in music education and marketing.
In 2015, Chasity played in the Macy’s Day Parade in New York City.
“The whole family attended,” Turner said. “We enjoyed the New York subway and the weather was the best in many years.” It was 68 degrees and they spent Thanksgiving on a dinner cruise with the band.
The Marine also volunteers in Louisville. He is the current junior vice commander for the Marine Corps League Kentuckiana Detachment 729. He serves on the honor guard and marches in local parades and volunteers for other events with the organization.
He also serves as vice president of the Montford Point Marine Association for Louisville Chapter 22. This nonprofit organization for military veterans was founded to memorialize the legacy of the first African Americans to serve in the Marine Corps. Members volunteer in the community doing highway cleanup, collecting toys for tots, and they offer college scholarships. Turner marched with them in Jeffersontown in the annual Christmas and Veterans Day parades.
The security specialist’s 16-year-old daughter, Heaven, who attends North Hardin High, is continuing the family’s legacy of community service. Heaven is a member of Jack and Jill of America, a leadership organization formed during the Great Depression by African American mothers, dedicated to nurturing future African-American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty.
To top it all off, Turner is also a student. He attends Elizabethtown Community Technical College in his off time, and wants to eventually transfer to the University of Louisville.
“We do a lot of activities in Louisville, so I can see us moving closer to the city one day,” Turner shared.
From military service to civil service to volunteerism, it’s clear Turner and his family are all about service.