Military news: Col. Paul Turney retires from Army
On Sept. 26, in a ceremony attended by friends and family in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House, Col. Paul H. Turney retired from the U.S. Army.
Turney, a native of Salisbury, served on active duty for 20 years as a member of the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. In 2006, he was promoted to the rank of full colonel.
He graduated from Wake Forest University in 1984 and, as a distinguished military graduate of the United States Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery.
He obtained his law degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law and entered active duty on July 10, 1988, as a first lieutenant assigned to the JAG Corps. In his 20-year active duty career, Turney served in a variety of assignments and locations worldwide.
Turney started his career at Fort Bragg,where he was assigned to the office of the staff judge advocate, 18th Airborne Corps. His first duty was as a legal assistance attorney, assisting soldiers, retirees and family members with legal issues. He later served as a trial counsel and was the command legal advisor to a number of units assigned to 18th Airborne Corps.
In 1991, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency and served as an appellate defense counsel with the Defense Appellate Division. He next served as the training officer for the U.S. Army Trial Defense Service, where he advised defense counsel assigned worldwide to defend the interests of soldier clients.
In 1995, Turney attended the graduate course of the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Va., and he received his master of military law degree in 1996. He was then assigned to the First Infantry division in Germany, where he served as the officer in charge of the Vilseck Law Center.
He deployed with the 1st Infantry Division’s Third Brigade Combat Team to Bosnia twice in 1996 and 1997. He served as the officer in charge of the Tuzla Law Center, and he finished his overseas service as the chief of administrative law for the office of the staff judge advocate, 1st Infantry Division.
In 1999, he returned to the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, where he was assigned as a professor of law in the criminal law department.
In 2000, Turney attended the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he graduated in 2001 and returned to Washington, D.C.
Once again assigned to the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency, he served as the chief of the Trial Counsel Assistance Program, where he was responsible for training and advising the Army’s many trial counsel assigned worldwide.
From 2003 until 2005, he served as the company grade assignments officer of the JAG Corps Personnel, Plans and Training Office. He finished his tour there as the legal advisor to the judge advocate general on business transformation.
Turney’s final active duty assignment was as general counsel, White House Military Office, from 2006 to 2008.
At his retirement ceremony, Turney was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal. In addition, he was presented with the nation’s colors, which had been flown in his honor at the Capitol and the Pentagon and had been displayed in the White House in recognition of his service.
He also received a personal letter from President Bush thanking him for his service to the American people and to the presidency.
Turney’s wife, Beth, who is the daughter of Tiberio and Monica Alfonsi of Salisbury, was also recognized for her achievements as a military spouse.
Turney’s other military honors include the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Superior Unit Award, the National Defense Service Medal (second award), the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO medal, and the Army Staff Identification Badge.
Turney is also the first Army judge advocate to win the Presidential Service Badge.
Turney is the son of Ruth F. Turney of Salisbury and the late Dr. Charles Turney.
He and his wife live in Virginia with their three sons, Isaac, Elias and Aaron.