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Col. Mike Turner, USAF (Ret)

Vice President, Development

Col. Mike Turner, USAF (Ret) is a 1973 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours. From 1974-79, he was an HH-3E air rescue helicopter pilot before transitioning to fighters, where he flew the F-4, the F-16, and the F-111F. He is a Desert Storm veteran and served on the U.S. Central Command staff before and during the war. Turner's final assignment was on the Joint Staff in the Pentagon from 1993-97, where he worked as the Egypt/Jordan/Libya desk officer in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J-5) and later became the Africa branch chief responsible for all Joint Staff politico/military affairs in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Since his retirement from the Air Force in 1997, Turner has worked principally as a nonprofit development officer but also has experience in legislative affairs. Prior to coming to MOAA, he was vice president of development at Mental Health America (MHA), the nation's oldest mental health advocacy organization. While at MHA, Turner spent two years studying the top military family support programs in the nation to help MHA better understand the urgent mental health needs of the nation's military community.

Turner is a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal (service), the Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Air Medal. He has a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration from Chapman University in California. In 2008, he was a candidate for the U.S. Congress from Virginia's 10th Congressional District. He currently lives in Sterling, Va.

Career Highlights

  • Served for two years, before and during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, as Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf’s personal briefing officer
  • While the Africa Branch Chief on the Joint Staff, drafted the original concept paper proposing an African Contingency Operation Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program, now the largest U.S. foreign military training program in Africa
  • National military commentator on NPR, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and Newsweek.com from 2003-2004