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Turner assumes assistant adjutant general position on Camp Murray

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In December, Brig. Gen. Wally Turner assumed the post of Assistant Adjutant General-Army for the Washington National Guard, a position that has been vacant since July when Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty was appointed to the post of Adjutant General.

"This past month has been a good time to assess the operation and get acclimated," Turner said. "Even though there wasn't an interim assistant adjutant general, (Daugherty) did a good job prepping for the transition. My goal now is to handle this side of things so that he can focus on the more strategic pieces of the puzzle for the Guard."

The Assistant Adjutant General-Army is responsible for the readiness, strength, training and overall leadership of the Washington Army National Guard (WANG), which is comprised of more than 6,000 citizen Soldiers.

"I wouldn't be doing this job if I didn't think I could really help the Soldiers of this state," Turner said. "It is a great time to do what we do."

Turner, an aviator for most of his career, was surprised to be offered the job.

"I knew I was a candidate, but there were a lot of great people competing ... so I was surprised and humbled when I got the call offering the job to me," said Turner, whose wife of 29 years, Nancy, and son, Bryan, are supportive of his career and his new role.

Turner began his military career in 1983 and, after years as an active duty Soldier, transitioned into the WANG in 1990. He is a former commander of the Guard's 66th Theater Aviation Command, headquartered on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"That position had Soldiers in a variety of states and cycles of deployments, but this job has more of an organizational structure component and obviously an increased interaction with the state," he said.

Turner's focus moving forward is centered on relearning the original intent of the Guard and helping his Soldiers transition back to the skill sets associated with the primary mission of the Guard, which is to protect and safeguard the lives and property of the state of Washington.

"We are always tasked with a dual mission, but one has taken precedence for the last decade," he said, referring to the Guard's very active role in the fight downrange. "Over the last 10 years the Guard has really stepped up and shown that they can handle these missions as well as any other force. I think of it like (National Guard, Reservists and active duty) are all a team working toward a shared goal to achieve success."

"We're still in the midst of deploying for now, but my concentration is to look toward after that," he added. "Our mission will change and evolve as they return."

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