Steve Turner, DDE’ 20
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Tennessee National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have once again answered the Governor’s call. From testing the general public, to testing at nursing homes and department of correction facilities, Tennessee’s Task Force Medical conducted over 20,000 COVID tests by mid-April. I currently serve as the Executive Officer for the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment (organized as an ABCT), and I’m consistently inspired by the dedication of our Citizen-Soldiers. Just a few weeks prior to the call for COVID response, many of our Soldiers were performing search and rescue missions in response to the early March tornados that ravaged middle Tennessee. Almost immediately after the Governor asked for our help, more than 200 medics and medical providers volunteered to put themselves in harm’s way to combat the outbreak in Tennessee. Simultaneously, we transitioned the Regimental staff to focus on contingency planning for other COVID missions and the refining of our rapidly changing training plan. Though most of the tasks associated with COVID response and or the missions we are currently planning are not typical missions for an ABCT, they do reinforce the fact that all formations should be flexible, adaptive, and agile during times of need. Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my fellow classmates in Seminar 2, DDE 20. While we spent our nights navigating the rigor of Theater Strategy and Campaigning II paper submission and the final forum, several members of my team are medical providers or serve in civilian / military positions called on to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Their dedication to completing course material and participating in group projects was truly inspiring. Staying focused to finish DDE is a challenge by itself, but doing it through a pandemic response is even more impressive.
LTC Steven C. ‘Steve’ Turner
Distance Class of 2020
Executive Officer, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ABCT)