Gov. Haley Chooses SC State Alumnus to Lead State’s Unemployment Agency

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Maj. Gen. Abraham Turner was applauded today for his appearance and words of encouragement at SC State University’s 2011 Commissioning Ceremony. However, another facet was added to this celebratory occasion. Not only was Turner an advocate for the SC State University students commissioned, but he too was placed in the spotlight as Gov. Nikki Haley announced today that she has picked Turner to lead the state Department of Employment and Workforce. Turner’s appointment will begin on Sept. 1, 2011 after his retirement from active duty.

Turner, chief of staff of the United States Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Neb., was commissioned 35 years ago on the SC State campus, an institution known for the more than 2,035 officers in the Armed Forces, making it the top minority serving institution in the nation.

A 1976 graduate of SC State University, it is evident that Turner is admired by students, administrators and constituents alike, more than likely for his continuous support of the University and for the experience that he has garnered over the years. Prior to his current assignment, Turner was deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Va. Other previous assignments include serving as commanding general for the U.S. Army Training Center in Fort Jackson, S.C.; assistant chief of staff, C-3, Coalition Forces Land Component Command, Camp Doha, Kuwait and assistant division commander (Operations), 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. He also served as the chief of the House Legislative Liaison Division, Washington, DC.

Turner's combat experiences include a combat jump into Panama during Operation Just Cause, a deployment during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and most recently, deployments in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Among his many awards and decorations, Turner has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merits with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters.

Turner earned his Bachelor of Science degree in music from SC State. While attending the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pa., he earned a master’s degree in public administration from Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pa.