Colonel Steven Turner, an Oak Ridge resident, became the 15th commander of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Tennessee on Sunday.
The 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) is one of two “heavy” ACRs. It is also known as the “Tennessee Cavalry,” and it is the only ACR in the Army National Guard. It is one of five armored brigade combat teams, and it has more than 4,000 soldiers. Subordinate units are located in three different states and throughout Tennessee. It has headquarters in Knoxville.
A change of command ceremony was held at West High School in Knoxville on Sunday.
“Being selected for one of the four major commands in Tennessee National Guard is a great honor,” the 14th commander, Colonel John “Brad” Bowlin of Greeneville, told Turner during that ceremony. “Being selected to command the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment is the greatest prize of all.”
Turner, who is from Clinton and lives in Oak Ridge, had been the executive officer for the 278th. He has more than 31 years of military experience, and he was commissioned as an armor officer in 1997 at the University of Tennessee.
In a ceremony before the change of command on Sunday, Turner, who has degrees in economics, business administration, and strategic studies, was promoted to colonel.
“I am honored to take on this mantle of command,” Turner said during the change of command ceremony. “To lead the most dedicated group of soldiers that the Tennessee Army National Guard has to offer. Serving in the regiment is not for the faint of heart.”
Here is more information about Turner from the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR):
Colonel Turner enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1989, as a cavalry scout where he served with the 10th U.S. Cavalry, 194th Armor Brigade.
After he left the Army, Turner returned home to East Tennessee and joined the 278th ACR. In 1997, he graduated from the University of Tennessee and was commissioned as an armor officer.
With the majority of his 31-year career being served at the operational level, Turner has commanded at battalion and company level, and served on Joint Forces Headquarters, Tennessee staff.
Other assignments have included: regimental executive officer, regimental logistics officer, regimental chief of operations, chief of plans, squadron operations officer, and reconnaissance troop commander. He served or trained in numerous countries and deployed to Iraq twice, in 2005 and 2009.
Turner earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Tennessee in 1997, a master’s degree in business administration from Northcentral University in 2007, and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College in 2020. His military education includes: Armor Officer Basic Course, Armor Captain’s Career Course, Command and General Staff College, Support Operations Course, and the U.S. Army War College.
Colonel Turner’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Iraqi Campaign Medal with 2 Campaign Stars, Combat Action Badge, and the Order of Saint George.
Turner is a native of Clinton. He lives in Oak Ridge with his wife Stacey. Both of Colonel Turner’s daughters, Mollie and Anna, are students at the University of Tennessee.