Command Sgt. Maj. Donald L. Turner was born in Huntington, West Virginia on July 1, 1938. He entered the West Virginia National Guard in 1953 and enlisted in the United States Army in 1955.
For the next seven years, he served as an enlisted ordnance supply and parts specialist in Germany and in Korea. From 1962 until 1964, he was the Senior Supply Technician for the Hawk Test Firing Battery, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, where he established, maintained, and operated the largest prescribed load list in the Army. From 1964 until 1968, he was First Sergeant and Materiel Noncommissioned Officer of the 1st Maintenance Battalion in Germany. Following a tour as First Sergeant of Headquarters and Company A, 704th Maintenance Battalion in South Vietnam, he served four years as First Sergeant for the Weapons Training Department at the U.S. Army Ordnance Center and School.
From 1973 until 1974, he was a student at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, Fort Bliss, Texas. Concurrently, he completed the requirements for an Associate in Arts Degree at El Paso Community College. He subsequently served as Command Sergeant Major for the 21st Support Command, the 36th Engineer Group (Combat), and the U.S. Army Armament Materiel Readiness Command. His final post was that of Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Logistics Command, Fort Lee, Virginia. Here he served as the senior enlisted advisor to the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Logistics Center.
He is uniquely qualified among Ordnance noncommissioned officers in that he has served in key assignments on both the wholesale and retail sides as well as the training base of the Ordnance Corps. His outstanding leadership and technical abilities enabled him to influence improvements in everything from troop welfare and mission success to the organization and doctrine of the Ordnance Corps.